City retailers praised for firework safety

Firework retailers in Aberdeen were today praised after all shops which had a test check did not sell any to an underage volunteer.

A 16-year-old test volunteer for the City Council’s Trading Standards service was used and attempted to buy fireworks however all eight shops carried out checks for proof of age and refused the sale.

The test purchases were among Trading Standards visits to a total of 18 retailers across the city to ensure that the public are not being sold dangerous fireworks.

Officers inspected retailers’ premises to ensure that the fireworks are being stored safely and securely, away from possible sources of ignition and damp.

Several other checks were carried out to ensure retailers are behaving responsibly and complying with the law, including checks confirming the retailer has the required licence to legally store and sell fireworks and that the fireworks conform to relevant safety standards and marked with a CE mark.

Officers also took steps to ensure fireworks are not being sold to under-18s and ensured that businesses clearly display a sign informing customers that they cannot supply fireworks to under 18s.

Fireworks should only be purchased from reputable suppliers and the public are advised to steer well clear of buying fireworks from markets, car-boot sales, or street sellers. Fireworks bought from these sources could be defective and are unlikely to meet UK safety requirements.

Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards manager Graeme Paton said: “I am pleased all the shops which were tested checked for proof of age and did not sell to our underage volunteer.

“For some families, it is traditional to buy fireworks and sparklers and watch them light up the sky, but unless you are buying from a reputable retailer, you may get burned in more ways than one.”

Using or buying fireworks illegally can result in a penalty of up to £5,000, six months imprisonment, or both.

Officers will also investigate any reports of fireworks being sold illegally from markets, car boot sales, the back of vans, online, or by social media.

If people know of anyone who is storing or selling fireworks illegally or selling to anyone under the age of 18, they should contact Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or tradingstandards@aberdeencity.gov.uk If people wish to remain anonymous, they can contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.