Firework warning for Royal Wedding parties

PEOPLE planning to use fireworks to add sparkle to their Royal Wedding celebrations are being urged to make sure they are safe and legal.

Simple guidelines have been drawn up by West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service.

Graeme MacPherson, head of the service, said: “Whether you’re a street party organiser or holding a party in your garden, there are some important facts you need to bear in mind.”

The guidelines cover:

Buying fireworks:

“Fireworks can only be bought from retailers that have a licence to sell them all year round. Because there are not many such outlets in the county you may try to buy fireworks on-line.

“This is fine – but an adult must sign for them on delivery,” said Mr MacPherson.

It is illegal to sell fireworks from a market or car boot sale.

“If you see them being sold in this way, walk away and let Trading Standards know on 01243 642124 – because not only is the seller committing an offence, there’s no guarantee the fireworks themselves will be safe,” he added,

Storing fireworks at home:

“This is really a matter of common sense - keep the fireworks in their original packaging and away from any sources of ignition,” he said.

The Firework Code:

The main points of the code are:

· Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable

· Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time

· Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary

· Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back

· Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

· Never return to a firework once it has been lit

· Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them

· Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.

Mr MacPherson added: “Finally, we would remind people to be a good neighbour and bear in mind it is illegal to let off fireworks after 11pm.”

Pete Bradbury, the county council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Our Trading Standards Service has issued this timely advice because we want everyone to enjoy their Royal Wedding celebrations, while at the same time staying safe.”

More information on firework safety is available from the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RoSPA) at www.saferfireworks.com