Stockton Council is warning about the dangers of buying fireworks from unlicensed sellers after receiving a number of reports of fireworks being sold via Facebook from private houses.
Businesses and individuals have to register or obtain a special licence from Stockton Council if they wish to store fireworks for sale – even if they are being sold from a private house or online.
Any seller which is not registered or licensed may be fined up to £5,000 and given a prison sentence of up to six months.
There are also a number of other important legal requirements that all sellers must adhere to, even if they are registered or have a special licence. These include:
- Not selling fireworks to anyone who is under 18 years old
- Rules to ensure fireworks are stored safely
- Not selling caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns to anyone who is under 16 years old
- Only selling fireworks that conform to the Pyrotechnics Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 and meet certain noise conditions.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson, said: “We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable fireworks celebration so the Council is doing everything it can to stop fireworks from falling into the wrong hands.
“We are concerned that some private sellers may not be complying with licensing and storage requirements particularly in relation to under age sales and storing large quantities of fireworks at a private address.
“We are working closely with Cleveland Police to identify anyone who is not meeting these important legal requirements and will carry out spot checks on any seller who is thought to be selling fireworks to under 18s.
“While we appreciate most sellers comply with the law we will be carrying out test purchases wherever we have intelligence that a particular premise is selling fireworks illegally.”
To report the sale of unsafe fireworks or to register to sell fireworks email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01642 526560.