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Joint safety checks on fireworks retailers 14 October 2008

Fireworks safety campaign 2008OFFICE of Fair Trading staff are once again joining forces with representatives from the IoM Fire and Rescue Service and IoM Constabulary to carry out checks at premises selling fireworks.

Retailers must comply with fire safety regulations before they are licensed by the OFT to store and sell fireworks. Two checks are undertaken by OFT staff at each premise – one prior to a licence being granted and a second when the retailers have been licensed and the fireworks are on sale.

On the initial visit OFT staff will be accompanied by a community fire safety officer and on the post license visit by a police officer. The inspections form an important part of an overall fireworks safety campaign jointly co-ordinated by the OFT and Department of Home Affairs.

OFT Technical Officer Mike Buss explained:

‘I’m delighted that fire safety officers and police officers will accompany us to ensure there are no problems with the storage or sale of fireworks by retailers. We normally have around 30 applications for licenses each year across the Island. On receipt of a licence application we arrange to visit the premises with a fire service officer to advise what is required. Most have sold fireworks in previous years and have the necessary equipment. Once the fireworks are permitted to be on sale – two weeks prior to Bonfire Night – we visit each shop again with the police to ensure they comply with the safety requirements and understand their responsibility under the law not to sell fireworks to under 18s.’

Initial visits will be carried out next week (from October 20). Fireworks can go on sale from October 25. Community Fire Safety Officer Danny Dooley said:

‘We want everybody to enjoy November 5th in a safe and responsible way – and the support and advice we offer starts with our visits to the retailers.’

Crime Prevention Officer PC Mike Radcliffe added:

‘These visits help to reinforce our key safety messages and we are grateful for the co-operation of the Island’s retailers.’

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