Businesses planning to sell fireworks are being reminded to have the correct licences in place.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) says anyone who wants to sell fireworks for Diwali and/or Bonfire Night should have an up-to-date explosives licence enabling them to safely store fireworks.
TWFRS area manager Lynsey McVay said: “Not having a valid licence to store fireworks is a criminal offence and can lead to an unlimited fine, two years imprisonment or both.
“However, the process is very simple, businesses just need to request an inspection through our website, the inspection will then be arranged within 28 days.”
Fire Safety Inspectors can help businesses by carrying out inspections to ensure that fireworks are stored legally and safely in accordance with the Explosives Regulations 2014.
To request advice or apply for an explosives licence visit www.twfire.gov.uk/community-safety/business/fireworks-explosive-regulations/
TWFRS have already had reports of fireworks being set off in the region, reminding businesses and the public that it is illegal to sell fireworks outside of the selling period – October 15 and November 10.
Inspectors from their Business Fire Safety team, Northumbria Police and local Trading Standards teams will be conducting joint inspections to ensure the safety of all residents within Tyne and Wear.
Recently, TWFRS has seen a number of incidents where business owners have received cautions, prison terms and fines because they did not have a valid licence or were storing fireworks unsafely.
In one case, TWFRS received intelligence from Northumbria Police that a person was storing and selling fireworks without a licence from their home. They were selling to members of the public, including children via Facebook. The fireworks were immediately seized and destroyed.
Lynsey added: “Diwali on November 6 and Bonfire Night on the 5th is less than a month away therefore it’s imperative that businesses get their inspection requests into us as soon as possible.
“Businesses simply can’t take risks with lives and their own livelihoods by storing and selling fireworks both illegally and dangerously. We are here to help and provide them with the advice that they need to pass the necessary inspections before they receive a licence to store at their premises.”
For more information please go to www.twfire.gov.uk and to report concerns of storage or selling of fireworks outside of this period contact the Business Fire Safety Team on 0191 444 1664 or 0191 444 1500 (out of hours).