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Beware of illegal fireworks
and have a safe Guy Fawkes night

With this year’s fireworks season fast approaching the British Fireworks Association (BFA) is calling on the public to help clamp down on the burgeoning illegal fireworks market, and buy from respectable retailers to help ensure an enjoyable Guy Fawkes Night for everyone.

Industry experts estimate that up to 2000 tonnes of fireworks will have found their way to illegal premises, for equally illegal selling, in 2003. This figure constitutes approximately 10% of the total UK fireworks market and may be an underestimate.

New Government legislation is on its way in the form of a Private member’s Bill (2003 Fireworks Bill) successfully steered through the Commons by Bill Tynan MP. This Bill will be used to further control a number of aspects relating to firework selling and use, with a particular emphasis on a massive tightening of importation and distribution functions.

However, the new legislation will not be in place in time for this year’s firework season so for this year it is up to the buying public to help stamp out the illegal sellers and continue the recent trend of falling accident numbers of 5 November.

John Woodhead, Chairman of the BFA said: “It is always tempting to get a bargain, but when dealing with fireworks consumers must remember that illegal fireworks will not have had any product safety testing carried out on them and in case of injury there is almost certainly no product liability insurance.

“Fireworks can, and do, provide a great deal of pleasure for millions, but the only way to be sure and safe this November 5th is to go to a reputable retailer, buy a brand that is known to you, and to follow all the safety advice that is widely available.”