Trading Standards officers at North East Lincolnshire Council are urging people to be safe this Bonfire Night and to only buy fireworks from registered retailers.
Bonfire night is usually one of the most spectacular nights of the year, but there are risks for people and animals.
With Bonfire Night just around the corner, you might be thinking of buying fireworks, but you must remember to only buy from registered retailers and report the illegal sale of fireworks.
Potential customers are also urged to be cautious of websites, social media accounts and car boot sales selling fireworks, as these may not meet safety standards.
Illegal fireworks can be made from inferior materials and if not stored correctly, they can be very dangerous. Fireworks should only be purchased from reputable and licensed sellers.
There are a number of dangers associated with using illegal fireworks, often purchased from social media platforms or car boot sales.
When bought by a registered retailer, Trading Standards officers can check the fireworks on sale are stored correctly.
If you do spot someone selling fireworks by social media or at car boot sales, please contact Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133.
They can also advise registered retailers on how to guard against illegal sales to under-18s.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Fireworks are explosives and can be extremely dangerous and uncontrollable when used inappropriately.
“Buying dodgy goods comes with great risk and could end up costing much more than the money you might fork out for them.
“Illegal fireworks can cause serious injury to anyone handling them or watching a display.
“There is also a direct link between illicit sales, especially to under-18s, and anti-social behaviour.
“By purchasing fireworks from registered sellers, you can help protect young people and keep our community safe.”
To report a business to TS for the illegal sale of fireworks, visit: https://bit.ly/3aNee2g
Remember your furry friends too
Fireworks displays are one of the highlights of the season, but for pets, it might not be so exciting, and owners are urged to be vigilant with their animal’s wellbeing.
Animals can become extremely stressed and behave out of character. Loud bangs can also be painful for pets as their hearing is more acute than humans.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s regulation and enforcement team see a significant increase in stray dogs around Bonfire Night, Halloween and New Year.
Owners are asked to be extra vigilant as there is a cost associated with collecting lost or stray pets from council custody.
The regulation and enforcement team advise owners to make sure their dog is microchipped and wearing an ID tag, even at home.
This means that if animals do run away, they can be quickly reunited with their family.
Fluorescent collars are also advisable and are the best way to ensure that your dog is visible to motorists during the dark mornings and evenings.
Do not forget smaller pets, especially those that live outdoors. Ensure they have extra bedding to burrow down into and feel safe, and partially cover aviaries, cages and pens, to provide some sound proofing and make sure they are well ventilated.
Even better, bring them indoors or into your garden shed or garage where possible.
If your dog goes missing, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/stray-lost-dogs for details on what steps to take.
Bonfire Night can be extremely stressful to dogs, which can cause them to bark excessively. As a result, the council is more tolerant at this time of year when it comes to enforcement of noise nuisance.
If a neighbour complains that you are disturbing them, their pets or livestock, be considerate. The Fireworks Act is in force to cut the stress, noise and nuisance fireworks can cause. Regulations prohibit the use of fireworks at night, between 11pm and 7am, in England. However, on Bonfire Night this is extended until midnight.
The Regulations also acknowledge the following festivals:
- Chinese New Year – until 1am on the night
- Diwali – until 1am on the night
- New Year’s Eve – until 1am on the night
It isn’t just pets which can be put at risk at this time of year. Wild animals such as hedgehogs can look for shelter in bonfire kindling.
You can check for hedgehogs by gently lifting each section of the bonfire with a broom or pole. A torch can also come in handy to help you spot them.
For more information, visit www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/please-rememberhedgehogs-bonfire-night/