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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Good Guy Puts Firework Safety First

12/10/2009

Staffordshire firefighters will urge thousands of school children to 'remember remember the 5th of November' as part of Operation Good Guy.

In the run up to Bonfire Night, the Service will be making more than 200 visits to schools with its hard-hitting demonstration which highlights the explicit dangers of fireworks.

The presentation features information which explains in detail the hazards associated with the unsafe use of fireworks. It examines the laws associated with fireworks and features a visual demonstration which shows quite explicitly just how dangerous fireworks can be if not used in accordance with the manufacturers' directions.

The annual campaign is a multi-agency initiative supported by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards. Fireworks for the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service presentation have been supplied by Fireworks International.

Assisted by Trading Standards officers, firefighters will also be visiting retailers in North Staffordshire to offer them advice and guidance on the responsibilities they have selling fireworks – particularly to young people.

"The work of the fire service in schools combined with the work of our Trading Standards team ensures that Staffordshire residents can feel safe at this time of year."

Staffordshire County Councillor Ben Adams

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service's Risk Reduction Manager, Simon Craythorn said: While this time of year is about recognising and celebrating history, it is important to remember that fireworks, although fun to watch, can cause serious injury and damage if not used safely.

This can have a devastating effect on people's lives and futures. Operation Good Guy is a timely reminder to children and young people to think about the dangers of fireworks in the hope they can develop a healthy respect for fireworks and be safe at all times”

Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor John Daniels, Cabinet Member for Housing, Environment and Neighbourhoods said: "Operation Good Guy is a really worthwhile project and we're happy to be involved.

The city council will be inspecting all businesses that sell fireworks and making sure fireworks are stored safely, sold only on the dates allowed, and are not sold to anyone under 18.

It's important that young people realise the dangers of using fireworks unsupervised, but we should all act responsibly to ensure we have a safe and happy bonfire season

Staffordshire County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture said: We are once again proud to be working in partnership on Operation Good Guy.  Using this multi-agency approach means that we can target a much wider audience in Staffordshire with the firework safety message. 

"The work of the fire service in schools combined with the work of our Trading Standards team who issue licences so that premises can sell fireworks and who also tackle both illegal and underage sales of fireworks, ensures that Staffordshire residents can feel safe at this time of year.  Our Fireworks Hotline is also up and running once again and people who want advice about fireworks can call 08454 02 03 34 for more information."

In support of Operation Good Guy, pupils at Blurton High School have produced a video to raise awareness of the safety issues which surround fireworks. This video will now form part of the Operation Good Guy visits in the County.

Firework Information:
All fireworks must comply with BS7114. Air Bombs, Bangers, Mini Rockets and fireworks for professional display purposes only (Category 4) cannot be sold to the public.

Anyone storing fireworks for sale must have a registration or license from the local authority before they take delivery of the fireworks. There are restrictions on how much can be displayed in the sales area and any cabinets in areas where the public have access must be locked. All storage areas and containers must be suitable to protect against a risk of fire or explosion.

Fireworks must not be sold to anyone under the age of 18 a notice regarding the age restriction on the sale of fireworks must be displayed.

It is also illegal to supply fireworks outside the dates given below without an additional licence. The cost of such a licence is £500.

Permitted dates for selling:
15th October - 10th November
Diwali (14th - 17th October 2009) 
New Year 26th December 2009 to 31st December 2009
Chinese New Year (11th– 14th Feb 2010)

Fireworks cannot be lit between 11pm and 7am EXCEPT on 5th November 12am to 7am, Diwali, 31st December and 1st Day of Chinese New Year 1am and 7am. (Note - Police Enforced)

It is an offence for anyone to light a firework in the street or public place and for anyone under 18 to be in possession of a firework in a public place (Note - Police Enforced)