Businesses are being reminded that they need an up-to-date explosives licence if they plan to store and sell fireworks.
With both Bonfire Night and Diwali on the horizon, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is warning that not having a valid licence to store fireworks is a criminal offence and can lead to a unlimited fine, two years imprisonment or both.
TWFRS fire safety inspectors will be carrying out inspections of premises throughout the area to ensure that fireworks are stored legally and safely in accordance with the Explosives Regulations 2014. Where this isn’t the case, prosecution will be considered.
All new applications or renewals for a licence to store fireworks are granted by the licensing authority. Once the premises have been subject to a satisfactory inspection by a fire safety officer – usually within 28 days from request an application form will then be given to the applicant so they can apply for a licence.
TWFRS area manager Keith Carruthers said: “Businesses can’t take risks with lives and their own livelihoods by storing and selling fireworks both illegally and dangerously. And we’re here to help them with the advice they need to pass the necessary inspections.”