Agenda 10 Fireworks Enforcement 2010

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West Yorkshire                  AGENDA ITEM NO:       10
Joint Services
                                               REPORT TO
                                  ARCHIVES, ARCHAEOLOGY AND TRADING
                                      STANDARDS SUB-COMMITTEE
                                             TO BE HELD ON
                                            11 NOVEMBER 2010


1.    SUBJECT:



2.1   The report informs Members of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service’s
      enforcement and education role during the 2009 firework season. Partnership
      working with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police continues to
      be an important factor in tackling the irresponsible sale and use of fireworks.


3.1   That Members continue to support action to control the use of fireworks.

3.2   That this report is copied to the Home Safety Committees of the Constituent


4.1   Public concern surrounding the rising tide of anti-social behaviour associated with
      fireworks and their wider availability is reflected in the complaints received by
      WYTSS. It is considered important to continue the work described in this report,
      which has reduced the illegal supply of fireworks to under 18s and removed
      significant quantities of illegal and excessively loud fireworks from the market.
      Similarly it is intended to continue the successful policy of enforcement
      partnerships with the Fire and Rescue Services and Police, which have reduced
      crime and anti-social behaviour in all districts whilst promoting community safety.

5.1     Legislation

5.1.1    The recently introduced Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010, have
        now replaced the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997. The Regulations provide
        a transition period until 2017 for fireworks meeting existing provisions. Fireworks
        for use by the general public, must meet be safe, have been tested by an
        independent notified body and are labelled correctly (including the CE mark). The
        Regulations maintain the prohibition on splitting larger packs of fireworks to sell
        individually and also of selling certain fireworks outright (bangers, mini rockets, air
        bombs and shells-in-mortar). In brief, these fireworks were prohibited as they
        were traditionally cheap to buy and associated with anti-social behaviour.

5.1.2 The new Regulations consolidate enforcement responsibilities in relation to
      underage sales and prohibit the sale of fireworks to under 18s. Fireworks must
      not produce sound levels in excess of 120 dB when discharged and there is a
      prohibition of fireworks with erratic flight, such as ground spinners and jumping
      crackers. The Firework Regulations 2004 require retailers to display a notice
      stating the offences which are committed when fireworks are supplied to, or in the
      possession of under 18s.

5.1.3 The Firework Regulations 2004 also imposed enforcement duties on the Police
      Service in relation to the following offences: possession of fireworks in public
      places by under 18s; possession of professional display fireworks by any person
      and the discharge of fireworks outside the curfew hours of 11pm to 7am (midnight
      to 7am the following day on 5 November).

5.1.4 Licensing for ‘all year round suppliers’ was introduced in 2005. Enforcement is the
      responsibility of the Fire and Rescue Service. (This provision replaced a
      Voluntary Code of Practice restricting the sale to the three weeks prior to Bonfire
      Night and one week after).

5.1.5 Licences will be granted to any applicant on payment of a £500 application fee
      provided the applicant has no conviction for firework offences and meets the
      storage conditions.

5.1.6 Retailers who are not registered for all year round supply may only sell fireworks
      from the 15 October to the 10 November; on Diwali (5th November for 2010) and
      3 days before, and from 26 December to 31 December.

5.1.8 Unfortunately due to resource issues the new Department for Business,
      Innovation and Skills (BIS), formerly the Department of Trade and Industry, no
      longer collect data on firework injuries. Previous data suggested a slight decline
      in injuries nationally: 1123 (2003), 1160 (2004), 990 (2005) and the ten year
      average is 1000 per annum. In West Yorkshire the highest rates of injury have
      been in Bradford:14 (2003), 12 (2004) 18 (2005); and Leeds: 24 (2003), 19
      (2004), 12 (2005).
5.2   Enforcement 2010

5.2.1 All businesses selling fireworks must register their premises with the West
      Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. As in previous years all applicants received
      an information pack explaining their legal responsibilities. The pack included a
      letter from Trading Standards (Appendix 1) detailing fireworks now prohibited,
      requirements for fireworks to be legally supplied and specific guidance to prevent
      underage sales.

5.2.2 Inspections were targeted at retailers with a history of non compliance with
      firework legislation or at premises in areas where anti social use of fireworks had
      been reported. Due to resources this has meant a significant reduction in the
      number of inspections. However this approach allowed the service to concentrate
      on areas of concern rather than compliant businesses.

5.2.3 Results of the firework inspections are detailed in Appendix 2 (to follow):

      In 2009, 17 joint inspection operations (125 premises) took place. Illegal fireworks
      were identified and taken off sale at 4 premises in Bradford, 8 premises in Leeds
      and 1 premise in Kirklees.

      Full details to be provided.

5.2.4 The complaints received by Consumer Direct have been analysed by area and
      complaint type see Appendix 2 (last year’s figures in brackets, this years details
      to follow):

5.2.6 Results of test purchases are shown in Appendix 2 (2009 figures in brackets)

      Details to follow

5.3   Education work

5.3.1 In the run up to the 2010 firework season Education Officers have visited
      secondary schools across West Yorkshire in conjunction with the Fire and
      Rescue Service and West Yorkshire Police. Seventeen schools have been
      visited, and presentation and workshops have been delivered to over 4500 pupils.
      The sessions relate to the legal position (who can buy fireworks and what can
      and cannot be sold), penalties for illegal sales, possession and improper use and
      related safety issues including the need to follow the Firework Code.

5.4   Partnership Working and Media Coverage

5.4.1 Successful joint working with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has
      operated county wide since 2001. During that period we ensured that are actions
      were consistent and appropriate for the risk based approach to regulation and
      enforcement as set out in the Hampton agenda. With this in mind, this year a
      Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed with WYFRS with both
      agencies cooperating in conducting “eyes and ears” inspections on behalf of the
      partner agency. This method of inspection ensures that hot spot areas are better
      targeted and that most registered fireworks premises are visited by either WYTSS
      or WYFRS. We have agreed to jointly work with West Yorkshire Police where
      there is clear evidence of either under-age sales of fireworks or anti-social
      behaviour as a direct consequence of their incorrect use.

5.4.2 Information has been supplied to every Elected Member in West Yorkshire
      outlining the law in relation to fireworks and details of the appropriate
      enforcement agency. This has allowed Elected Members to directly and quickly
      assist their constituents. A press release on awareness raising and test
      purchasing operations will also be issued.

5.4.3 Intelligence sharing and complaint referral arrangements are also well
      established. The protocol is now established as Best Practice.


6.1   Not applicable


7.1   Children and Young People – Misuse of fireworks can cause significant injuries
      in inexperienced hands. Restricting the sales of fireworks to young people can
      help prevent injuries to young people.

7.2   Safer and Stronger Communities – The nuisance and anti social behaviour
      associated with firework misuse blights many communities. Reducing these
      factors will help to regenerate areas. Firework misuse can lead to death, injury
      and damage to property. Robust enforcement will reduce those risks.

7.3   Healthier Communities and Older People – Firework inspections have ensured
      only legal and properly labelled fireworks reach consumers minimising the risk of

7.4   Economic Development and the Environment – Nil.


8.1   Close cooperation between WYTSS, the Police and Fire and Rescue Services
      has been the focus of this work.


9.1   Service Delivery Plan - Adoption of the proposed enforcement strategy will
      contribute to the Community Safety Strategy described in the Joint Services
      Service Improvement Plan.
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer Joint Services
Contact Officer: David Lovell
Telephone No: 0113 2898233
Fax No: 0113 253 0311
E-mail address:

Background Papers:
WYTSS Complaints database
WYTSS/WYFRS Memorandum of Understanding

My Reference: DL/PHB
Date: 8th October 2010
This matter is being dealt with by: David Lovell            Tel: 0113 289 8233
                                                              E mail:

Dear Councillor


In view of public concerns surrounding the use and misuse of fireworks at this time of
the year, I am writing to inform you of the current legal restrictions on the supply,
possession and use of these products and to clarify areas of enforcement responsibility.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is the enforcement authority for the following

          Supplying adult fireworks and sparklers to any person under the age of 18

          Failure by a supplier to display the prescribed firework notice (stating the
          offences committed if fireworks are supplied to or in possession of under

          Supplying bangers, flash bangers, double bangers (including batteries and
          combinations), aerial wheels, jumping crackers, jumping ground spinners,
          spinners, mini rockets, air bombs, shells-in-mortar, fireworks with erratic flight
          or category 4 professional use fireworks*.

          Supplying fireworks with a noise level greater than 120 decibels.

          Supply of Category 1, 2 or 3 fireworks which do not comply with BS 7114.

   West Yorkshire Police Force is the enforcement authority for the following offences;

          Possession of an adult firework in a public place by a person under the age of

          Possession by any non professional of a category 4 (professional display)

          Throwing, casting or firing a firework in a highway, street, thoroughfare or
          public place.
           Hawking fireworks (Selling or exposing fireworks for sale in a public place, e.g.
           car boot sales).

           Using a firework during the night hours of 11pm and 7am. Exceptions exist for
           the following designated fireworks nights.

                                               Curfew Operates Between
                5th November                   Midnight and 7am the following
                First Day of Chinese New       1am and 7am following day
                Diwali                         1am and 7am following day
                31st December                  1am and 7am following day

   The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is the enforcement authority for the
   following offences;

               Unlawful storage of fireworks without licence or registration.

               Failure by supplier to inform local licensing authority of single transactions
               over 50kg.

               Unlicensed supply of fireworks by ‘all year round suppliers.’

   ‘All year round suppliers’ are traders who supply fireworks outside the following
   periods: 15th October to 10th November inclusive, 26th December to 31st December
   inclusive and the first day of the Chinese New Year, Diwali and the three days
   immediately preceding both. Such suppliers must operate under a licence to supply
   granted by the Fire Service.

Please be aware that it is permitted for persons to keep the following quantities of
Hazard Type 4 explosives without registration or licence for a limited period, for their
own use.

        Quantity                  Limited Period                  Condition
Up to 250kg (NEC)*           For up to 3 days             At place of intended use.
Up to 100kg (NEC)            For up to 3 days             At place of intended use
                                                          (for a combination of HT3
                                                          and HT4 fireworks).
Up to 50kg (NEC)             For up to 21 days            Not for sale or use at
Up to 5kg (NEC)              Indefinitely
*Net Explosive Content
I trust that the above information will assist you in advising members of the public who

have concerns about fireworks. Complainants may telephone Consumer Direct

Yorkshire and the Humber (08454 04 05 06) on any firework issue (referrals to other

agencies will be made where appropriate).

Yours sincerely

David Lovell
Principal Trading Standards Officer

  Firework Inspections

  (2010 figures in bold, 2009 figures in brackets)

  District           Locality            No of       No of Illegal   No of premises
                                       Premises       Fireworks      not displaying
                                       Inspected        seized        the statutory
                                                     Packs (Units)       notice
Bradford      Bingley, Shipley,           (34)         58 (398)            (9)
              Keighley, Ilkley,
              Wrose, Undercliffe,
              Fagley, Ravenscliffe,
              Bolton, Swainhouse,
              Thorpe Edge,
              Thackley, Wapping,
              Bradford Moor,
              Allerton, Fair Weather
              Green, Clayton,
              Thornton, Queensbury,
              Lower Grange
Calderdale    North Halifax,              (10)            (0)             (1)
              Mixenden, Illingworth,
              Ovenden, Sowerby
              Bridge, Brighouse
Kirklees      Holmfirth, Dalton,          (22)            (2)             (3)
              Crosland Moor,
              Nethertown, Denby
              Dale, Burton, Golcar,
              Holme Valley, Colne
Leeds         Hyde Park, Kirkstall,       (42)        214 (1509)          (6)
              Burley, Headingley,
              Gipton, Seacroft, East
              End Park, Killingbeck,
              Beeston, Hunslet,
              Holbeck, Harehills,
              Meanwood, Roundhay,
              Alwoodley, Morley,
              Driglington, East &
              West Ardsley, Little
              London, Woodhouse,
               Horsforth, Yeadon,
               Guisely, Rawdon ,
               Otley, Armley, Wortley
               , Farnley, Pudsey,
               Bramley, Stanningley,
               Farsley, Rodley,
               Calverly, Belle Isle,
               Middleton, Rothwell,
               Woodlesford, Methley,
Wakefield      Wakefield (Town              (17)               0                   (3)
               Centre), Lupset,
               Horbury, Ossett,
               Wakefield (East);
Total                                      (125)           274 (1,907)             22

  Complaints by area and type

        Area             Under-     Noise anti       Illegal     All year      Safety     TOTAL
                          age         social       marketing      round
                         sales      behaviour      / Storage    suppliers
        Bradford          (4)          (1)              (0)         (0)          (2)        (7)
        Calderdale        (0)          (0)              (0)         (0)          (0)         0
        Kirklees          (1)          (0)              (3)         (1)          (3)        (8)
        Leeds             (4)          (0)              (9)         (0)          (4)       (17)
        Wakefield         (0)          (0)              (0)         (0)          (2)        (2)
        Total             (9)          (1)             (12)         (1)         (11)       (34)

        Test purchase data

        Area                        No of test purchases                    No of sales

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