Enforcement action for safer fireworks night

Published: Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Havering Council’s licensing and trading standards team have been out across the borough to check on whether local retailers are selling fireworks to young people aged under 18.

Sales of fireworks are especially high around Halloween and Bonfire Night in October and November.

Following on from Diwali, which was also celebrated recently.

Teenage volunteers assisted officers by going into the businesses and attempting to buy fireworks.

The visits also included checks on other age-restricted goods such as e-cigarettes or vapes as they are also known.

Out of the eight premises visited last weekend, all retailers refused to sell fireworks to the volunteer, with just one business who did sell a vape product.

Council officers will now speak further with that retailer to ensure they do not repeat sell vape products to underage shoppers.

Officers will return to two other premises, which were closed at the time of the visits.

The Council is once again teaming up with the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and local police.

They are  reminding residents to follow safety advice if hosting or attending a Bonfire event or fireworks display, this weekend.

Please remember 

  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE safety mark and are from licensed sellers.
  • Only have bonfires if they are clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges.
  • Store fireworks safely, in their original packaging, away from children and pets, keep dry and away from anything that generates heat or ignition.
  • Always follow the instructions with fireworks for safe use and disposal.
  • Keep a bucket of water near and make sure any used fireworks are completely out before getting rid of them.
  • Pets should be kept inside when fireworks are being let off and checked on to ensure they are not distressed.
  • Keep an eye on everyone using sparklers as these stay very hot for a long time. Wear gloves and place in a bucket of sand or water once they have burnt out.
  • Buy quieter fireworks if you can, which will cause less noise and distress to vulnerable neighbours and pets.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said: 

“It is important that our trading standards teams visit businesses to ensure they are compliant with the law in not selling fireworks.

"Also, to ensure they are not selling any other age-restricted goods to those under the legal age.

“I am pleased to see that the majority of our businesses are compliant, but we will take action if necessary against those that do not.

“If you are having a bonfire or fireworks event at your home this weekend, please follow safety advice.

"Be considerate to your neighbours and look after pets.

“Havering Council wishes everyone a happy and safe Bonfire Night.”