Trading standards’ fireworks advice

AS the festive season gets in full swing, local businesses are being reminded of the rules surrounding the sale of fireworks.

Angus Council’s trading standards division carried out a successful inspection and test purchasing campaign in the run up to Guy Fawkes Night.

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, bringing with it another peak fireworks sales period, trading standards officers will once again be out and about in the county.

In the run up to November 5, all 17 local businesses involved in the sale of fireworks received a visit from officers, to ensure that they were trading safely and responsibly. The produce, storage and sales procedures at each business were inspected.

To ensure legislation was being followed, every business was also visited by volunteers aged 15 and 16 for undercover purchase tests. One of the premises sold fireworks to one of the volunteers, and was issued with a warning. A follow up visit to the same business resulted in a 15-year-old being refused the sale of fireworks.

The council’s spokesman on trading standards issues Councillor David May said: “The council’s trading standards service has a very proactive approach to the sale of age restricted products as this campaign shows. I am pleased to note we had a good response from retailers before bonfire night, with all but one refusing to sell to underage purchasers, and hope that this continues over the festive period. There is advice and assistance available in relation to age restricted products through the Angus Age Restricted Products Code of Practice which I would urge local businesses to sign up to.”

Businesses are reminded selling fireworks to people under the age of 18 is an offence, which carries a maximum penalty of a £5000 fine and/or six months imprisonment. Further test purchasing operations are already planned to take place over the coming weeks. More information can be found at the council’s website, or by contacting trading standards on 01241 435600.