Fireworks season has arrived and KCC Trading Standards want to make sure events across the county go with a bang – but only in the sky.
Officers from Trading Standards have been out making sure shops are correctly storing fireworks to ensure the safety of the public.
They have also been following up leads about people selling fireworks illegally, such as from their own home or advertising via social media sites.
Trading Standards manager Richard Strawson said he is keen to hear about fireworks being sold in dubious circumstances.
He said: “The sale and storage of fireworks at retail premises needs to be carefully controlled to ensure that they are safe.
“Trading Standards are active in conducting checks of retail premises and we are keen to hear about the sales of fireworks in suspicious circumstances, such as from domestic addresses.
“Fireworks need to be stored within their shipping cartons and in a suitable environment – left in a dangerous condition they could easily cause an explosion.”
He added: “I’d urge anyone who needs to store large quantities of fireworks, or anyone who has concerns about possible illegal storage near them, to check with us about whether it is appropriate and safe.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Manager, Charlie Smith said: “Bonfire night can be great fun for all the family but it is important for people celebrate safely.
“It is always best to attend an organised display but if you are planning your own, please make sure you follow the firework code.
“Many accidents are caused by improper use of fireworks and by carelessness. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks.”
He added: “Bonfires are a lot of fun too, but they can be dangerous. If you are having a bonfire this year, we urge you to take care and to follow our simple tips on our website – to make sure you and others are safe and acting lawfully.”
Last year, KCC Trading Standards officers found a storage facility in Thanet and discovered fireworks filled with 50kg of gunpowder in a confined space of less than 2 square metres.
A single spark, such as from an overhead light, could have caused an explosion big enough to destroy the whole depot.
The pair running the business appeared before a judge at Maidstone Crown Court this month.
If you have any concerns, contact Kent Trading Standards on 03454 040506 or email email@example.com
For more information from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, click here.
You can also get free fire safety advice by calling KFRS on 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines).