Senior Lincolnshire Trading Standards officer, Joanne Hocking, warns that rogue traders sometimes try and make a quick profit selling dodgy – and possibly dangerous – fireworks.
She said: “It’s so important if you’re buying fireworks to only get them from a reputable retailer. You’ll often see fireworks for sale at supermarkets and other name-brand stores. These will be licensed and have a responsibility to ensure they meet safety requirements.
“But if you see them for sale at car boot sales, market stalls or even out the back of a van, these won’t be licensed, so don’t buy them.
“Check the packaging on any fireworks you do buy to make sure it has all the safety warnings, and that it carries the CE or UKCA mark, which show a product has been assessed as safe to be sold.”
You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on: October 15 to November 10; December 26 to 31, and the three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year.
Once you have your fireworks, you must not set them off in the street or in other public places, and you can only set them off before 11pm (or midnight on Bonfire Night).
Check the packaging to see how much space needs to be given for each type of firework, and only buy the ones that are suitable for your garden. Also, consider your neighbours, especially if they have pets or are elderly.
Dan Moss, Area Manager for prevention and protection at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: "With everything going up in price and household budgets squeezed, it might be tempting to buy cheap fireworks from unlicensed traders. Fireworks have to meet stringent safety standards for a reason, and the risk of a major fire or a serious injury is not worth the small saving on illegal fireworks.
“If you’re having fireworks at home, please check the safety distance on the packaging to make sure you have a clear safe area to let them off. There are many organised displays that take place around the county so why not go to one of those – many are in aid of charity. As well as being safer for you and your family it’s less disruptive to your neighbours who may be elderly or have nervous pets."
To report the illegal sale of fireworks to Trading Standards you can call 0808 2231133 or report online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/trading-standards-consumers