bonfire Safety

Fireworks removed from five businesses on Bonfire Night

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is helping to keep Greater Manchester safe by carrying out inspections of shops selling fireworks. On the 5 November specialist Fire Safety Officers removed fireworks from five businesses who were not following the rules on storage and sales of fireworks.

There are 320 businesses licensed to store fireworks Greater Manchester. In order to get a licence a business needs to show that they can store the fireworks safely and have appropriate risk assessments in place. A licence can be issued for between 1 and 5 years.

Any business which has a licence to store fireworks can also sell them between 15 October and 10 November and for a few days before Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year. Anyone wishing to sell fireworks at other times must obtain an additional licence.

Specialist Fire Safety Officers visit businesses before a licence is granted to make sure that they can store fireworks safely and during the bonfire period carry out spot checks on businesses to make sure they are complying with the licence conditions. This can include storing fireworks in a lockable storeroom or fire-resistant storage cupboards, cabinets or containers and making sure that live fireworks are not displayed in shop windows or on open displays, such as shelves. GMFRS also responds to reports of businesses selling fireworks without holding a licence.

Fire Safety Officers have powers to seize fireworks if they are not being stored safely and powers to detain and remove fireworks from shops where licence conditions are not being followed – in these cases the fireworks are removed as evidence.

This year all licensed businesses received additional advice about storing fireworks safely and were told to expect visits from firefighters and Fire Safety Officers. GMFRS carries out these inspections to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe and to ensure that fireworks are being handled, stored and sold safely.

Over 100 inspections have taken place since the 15 October already taken place and Fire Safety Officers will be working over the weekend to carry out further checks on shops around the Greater Manchester area.

GMFRS Petroleum and Explosives Manager Nicola Leech said: “It’s really important that people who are selling fireworks are storing them safely and in accordance with their licence.

“Carrying out unannounced inspections helps us to make sure that fireworks are being stored and sold in the correct way and shops are complying with their licence to minimise the risk of a fire – this is vital to keep our communities and firefighters safe.

“We are committed to supporting businesses who work with us and act responsibly but will take tough action against those who don’t follow the rules. Yesterday we removed fireworks from five businesses who were breaking the law. This included one shop selling fireworks without a licence and four shops which were not complying with their licence conditions. All now face a formal investigation and if prosecuted face a fine or a custodial sentence.”

GMFRS regulates the storage of fireworks and anyone who stores more than 5kg Net Explosive Content without a licence and people who breach a condition of a licence issued by GMFRS commits a criminal offence and if convicted can be fined or imprisoned.

Explosive licences and inspections help support Greater Manchester’s multi-agency approach to preventing, tackling and protecting against bonfire and firework injuries, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage during the Bonfire period.

This year’s campaign – Bang Out of Order – focusses on reducing anti-social behaviour during the Halloween and Bonfire period – specifically attacks on emergency services and deliberate primary and secondary fires.

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06/11/2021 16:10 PM