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Bonfire Night warning about firework danger

Thursday, 3rd November 2011.

Haverthill police have urged people to take care to celebrate Bonfire Night sensibly, and are highlighting the fact that it is a criminal offence for under 18s to possess a firework.

PC Rupert Beynon of Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team said fireworks had been seized from youngsters under 18 in the town who seemed unaware of the law.

They knew it was illegal to buy fireworks, but did not realise the law covered possession as well. An £80 fixed penalty notice was issued to one 17-year-old for the offence of setting off a firework in the street, on the market square.

Meanwhile Suffolk County Council has issued a warning about dangerous fireworks.

Following reports of an increase in the amount of illegal, counterfeit and banned fireworks available in the UK, Suffolk Trading Standards is urging local people to be extra cautious this bonfire night.

They say consumers who buy fireworks from unreliable or unknown sources, including over the Internet, are taking a huge risk. There is a high chance these fireworks may not comply with the current safety standards and have the potential to be very dangerous.

Officers are advising consumers to only buy their fireworks from retailers who are liable to be inspected by Suffolk Trading Standards.

A particularly worrying example is counterfeit Black Cat Bangers which are currently in circulation. The packaging on the bangers originates from the 1970s and uses the company’s old/incorrect address of Burton-on-Trent, DE13 9HS.

Test results revealed the bangers were extremely hazardous and had been made from poor-quality materials and failed relevant safety standards.

Cllr Colin Spence, the council’s portfolio holder for public protection said: “Although exciting and fun to watch, fireworks require a high level of care and caution, and there is a huge risk that comes with purchasing them from an unreliable source.

"I would urge anyone with any information this bonfire night to get in contact immediately so we can attempt to put an end to these dangerous sales.”

If anyone sees Black Cat Bangers, or any other fireworks being sold from the back of a vehicle, on the side of the road or at a car boot sale, they should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 immediately.

Trading Standards would also like to remind all registered sellers that regular checks will be made to ensure that all age related products are only sold to children over the age of 18.

Haverhill Online News

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