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Officers to inspect firework shops

PUBLISHED: 06:44 18 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

ANY shop or store in Suffolk selling fireworks is likely to be inspected for levels of safety and compliance with the law this month.

Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards officers are writing to all firework sellers in advance of the inspections with guidance on selling and storing fireworks safely and correctly.

ANY shop or store in Suffolk selling fireworks is likely to be inspected for levels of safety and compliance with the law this month.

Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards officers are writing to all firework sellers in advance of the inspections with guidance on selling and storing fireworks safely and correctly.

Each year officers find new cases of shops overstocking or storing fireworks unsafely, putting both the owners of the premises and people in danger.

During the last round of inspections, 20 per cent of the 250 premises visited failed to comply with safety law on firework storage. In five cases the conditions were so bad that official warnings were issued.

A small number were also keeping too many fireworks and four of these have also received official written warnings.

Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "It is all too easy to forget that fireworks are powerful explosives and should be handled with care and caution.

"Officers are giving plenty of advice and warning to retailers in advance of the visitors so there is no excuse for any problems found. Any breaches in safety endanger both the retailer and the public and we will take them very seriously."

Typical problems found in during the past inspections include:

l matches, batteries and cigarette lighters stored alongside fireworks;

l fireworks stored in illuminated cabinets with bulbs liable to overheat;

l unlocked cabinets which children could access;

l fireworks stored next to electrical items;

l storage of fireworks next to combustible material like paper and cigarettes;

l inspectors visited one store where fireworks were stacked in boxes next to an electric bar fire; and

l poor fire precautions and no safety warning notices.

Last year's inspections showed no evidence of illegal or unsafe fireworks being sold in Suffolk and no evidence of sales to under 18s.

Trading Standards hope that this year shopkeepers maintain their responsible approach to sales and this year's inspections will result in the same clean bill of health.

All retailers should receive guidance on the safe storage of fireworks before the start of inspections in October.

Any business needing further advice or wanting to pre-book a visit should contact Trading Standards on 01473 584368.

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