Keeping kids safe this Bonfire Night

Published: 1 November 2021

fireworks red


Each year, in the run up to Bonfire Night, our Trading Standards team take to the streets to make sure that fireworks are sold legally and safely. Of particular concern is the sale of fireworks to children and so last week the team set up an operation to test retailers are complying with the law and not selling fireworks to those who are underage.

In the operation, we asked our underage volunteers to carry out a test purchase of fireworks to see if shops challenged them and refused the sale. 

Six shops were tested by our volunteers and only one of the shops sold to a child. The shop that sold the fireworks claims to run a Challenge 25 policy, which is promoted by Trading Standards, whereby thereby the retailer will check ID on anyone who looks under 25 to make sure they are under 18. In this instance the retailer did not challenge the sale, ask for any ID or refuse the sale.

After the sale, the shop was informed of the operation and was issued full advice and a letter of warning. The other shops in the test did ask for ID and the sale of the fireworks were refused.

The team recommend that all retailers use the Challenge 25 method for any over 18 rated products and do so by asking for ID and checking it is genuine, rather than asking the age of the buyer as the likelihood is that a child will lie.

Trading Standards have a No ID No Sale retailer pack available to businesses and various leaflets and templates for a business to use.

Anyone wishing to report an underage sale can do this in confidence to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506 and any business wanting advice can also use that number.

Councillor Jerry Pearce, Cabinet Member for Streetpride and Public Spaces said:

Our Trading Standards team work tremendously hard to keep the residents of Derby safe and I thank them for all their hard work.

We’ve all heard horror stories about accidents involving children with fireworks and so it is really important that we continue to educate, inform and prosecute where necessary to prevent rogue traders ignoring the law on selling fireworks to underage people.

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