Issued By
North Yorkshire County Council



NORTH YORKSHIRE County Council trading standards officers are advising the public to follow the firework code more closely than ever this year.  This follows a 40% increase in the number of firework injuries nationally last year, which gave the highest total since 1995.

Officers are therefore highlighting a number of simple rules that should be followed:- buy the right fireworks; store them safely; let them off one at a time and store the others in a metal box between use; give one person the job of letting them off; read the instructions carefully; donít go back to a lit firework and donít mix alcohol and fireworks.  Finally donít give sparklers to children under five years of age.

Stuart Pudney, head of trading standards and regulatory services said: ďThe injury statistics highlight the need for close supervision of children and the need to maintain safe distances. Too many people still donít appreciate that fireworks are not toys, they are explosives and should be handled with respect. One of our major concerns is that people are buying fireworks that are too large for their gardens. The larger fireworks on sale to the public are only safe if spectators can stand 25 metres away. If your garden isnít that long, make sure you buy smaller fireworks. The safe distance will be marked on the firework itself and on the box.

"However, the results of our test purchases using young volunteers have been positive.  Of the 28 tests done across the county, only one retailer in the Scarborough area sold fireworks to a person under the age of 18.  Retailers should therefore be commended for their vigilance so far and continue to be cautious." 

Overall, the key firework safety messages are as follows:

Young teenagers: Fooling around with fireworks in the street may seem like fun at the time but it can have serious, long-lasting consequences for those involved. "Don't fool with fireworks"; "Fool with fireworks and bang goes your image".

Parents: Children should be closely supervised and under 5's should never be given fireworks, including sparklers, to play with. "Fireworks are explosives, get wise or get hurt".

General Public: Always follow the Firework Code and be considerate of others.

Retailers: Be aware of responsibilities and comply with legislation in order to avoid the possibility of a heavy fine.

CONTACT: Richard Flinton on 01609 766421