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FIREWORKS BE SAFE NOT SORRY - Always follow the Code 24 October 2006

The Office of Fair Trading, Fire Service and the Police are working together again this year to promote Fireworks Safety on the Island.

This year's key message to young people and parents is Be Safe Not Sorry - Always Follow The Code.

The agencies are particularly keen to get the message out that children and fireworks are a dangerous mix. No-one under 18 can buy fireworks legally and yet, consistently in the UK, over half those suffering injuries each year are under 18. Young people on the Island have fared better over the years but the agencies are determined that we should not become complacent.

Posters are being issued to the secondary schools showing a young man with horrific injuries and the Department of Education Youth Service is also promoting the safety messages through its youth clubs.

The campaign is also aimed at parents of younger children. A particularly troubling statistic in 2005 was 201 children aged 10 or under in the UK were injured by fireworks, many of which were caused by the seemingly innocuous sparkler. Sparklers are not harmless fun but can cause serious burns and should never be given to children under the age of 5.

To bring this message home the Office of Fair Trading is issuing all primary schools with posters and leaflets specifically aimed at younger children and their parents.

The Office is responsible for ensuring the safe storage of fireworks at retail premises and the prevention of the sale of banned fireworks on the Island. A new leaflet for retailers has been produced to advise them on their responsibilities when storing and selling fireworks.

A licensing and visiting programme organised by the Office ensures that necessary safe storage facilities are in place on retail premises, checks that no banned fireworks are on sale and that boxes are not being split.

The Office of Fair Trading is also reminding both retailers and consumers that fireworks cannot be supplied to nor sold by anyone under the age of 18.

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