Midlothian Trading Standards issues fireworks safety warning

A woman with sparklers.
A woman with sparklers.

Midlothian Trading Standards is urging residents to be safe this fireworks season so their bonfire night goes off with a bang - but no injuries.

Many people don’t realise the dangers fireworks and sparklers can pose if not used correctly. Every year in the UK, many people are seriously injured due to fireworks. There have even been fatalities.

The Firework Code advises: • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable. Fireworks must not be let off between 11pm and 7am, except on Chinese New Year, Diwali and New Year’s Eve, when the period is extended until 1am. And on Guy Fawkes Night, when the period is extended until midnight.

• Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time

• Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary

• Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back

• Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

• Never return to a firework once it has been lit

• Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them

• Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators

• Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire

• Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab), cabinet member for communities and economy, said: “To reduce the risk of personal injury, always follow the Firework Code when handling fireworks. Too many people are injured every year through accidents that can be avoided.

“An organised display is the safest way to enjoy fireworks. If however you are holding your own event please be careful and make sure you follow the Firework Code.”

Midlothian Trading Standards is conducting routine inspections along with colleagues from Police Scotland and the Scottish Rescue and Fire Service, to make sure retailers are storing fireworks safely and to remind them that fireworks are age-restricted products and must not be sold to anyone under 18.

Stephen Thomson, Trading Standards manager, said: “I am very happy we are continuing to work with our police and fire service colleagues in this important area of work.

“We undertake these inspections each year to ensure that those local retailers who have been licensed to store fireworks, are doing so in a safe manner and that the fireworks they intend to sell meet the current safety standards.

“Last year we were pleased with how retailers were complying and I certainly hope it will be the same this year.”

For further information about the Firework Code go to www.saferfireworks.com/