Greater Manchester fire chiefs issue urgent fireworks plea

GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to only buy fireworks from reputable retailers and check for the CE mark after illegal fireworks were seized over the weekend.

Fire Safety Officers have been carrying out inspections to ensure that businesses selling fireworks have the correct licensing and safety measures in place to do so.

They found a number of businesses selling fireworks without the correct licences and in some areas found illegal and dangerous fireworks being sold in the street and from vehicles.

This year there are no organised fireworks displays due to COVID-19 restrictions and GMFRS is asking people not to have fireworks at home to minimise the risk of incidents.

If you are thinking of having fireworks in your garden this year, make sure all fireworks are CE marked as this shows that the manufacturer has checked that these products meet EU safety, health or environmental requirements.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes said: “Firefighters and police officers have been working hard to get illegal fireworks off our streets to help keep the people of Greater Manchester safe.

“This year, Bonfire Night is going to be different for everyone, but our priority is to keep you and your families safe from harm, and to protect our emergency services who are already stretched because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

“The safest thing for us all to do is to follow the advice, stay at home and stay safe. If you are going to buy fireworks, only do so from reputable retailers to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Leon Parkes, said: “GMFRS staff have done an exceptional job over the weekend but I really want to urge people to stay at home, stay safe and protect our emergency services this autumn.

“If you believe you may have purchased fireworks that do not comply with safety standards and could pose a danger to you and your family, please call the GMFRS fireworks amnesty line on 0800 555 815 to arrange a safe collection.”

Crews safely removed over 30kg of fireworks from street sellers over the weekend. The contents included some damaged fireworks that were unsafe to use and some that were illegal.

Greater Manchester Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Nick Bailey, said: “This Bonfire Night, we are urging the public to celebrate safely by only purchasing fireworks from reputable retailers and following the Firework Safety Code to help to reduce the risk of accidents. Sadly every year we see people being injured by fireworks that have been obtained illegally so that is why it really important to follow the safety advice.

“Each year we work closely with partners to ensure that businesses comply with the laws around selling fireworks. We will continue to act upon all information and intelligence around illegal fireworks and will take robust action where necessary.

“If you are planning on having fireworks at home this year, we also ask that you act responsibly and follow the latest national COVID-19 guidelines to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the spread of the virus.”

If you are having fireworks at home this year, please be sure to follow the Firework Safety Code:

  • Fireworks must not be sold to any person under the age of 18
  • Buy fireworks marked CE
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm’s length using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury

More safety advice can be found on the GMFRS website. 

03/11/2020 12:34 PM