National Campaign for Firework Safety
You will find all the latest news on our new Firework Forum.
February 23 2003, Firework Tragedy in America
It is with deep regret that we inform you of a firework tragedy in a club in West Warwick, Rhode Island, America. 96 people were killed when a band's pyrotechnic display went disastrously wrong. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the immediate families of those involved, as well as relatives and friends.
February 22 2003, RSPCA release 'Quiet Please - loud fireworks frighten animals' report.
The RSPCA has released a very important report into firework noise. They recommend the loudest firework noise should be 95db(A)I. For more information go to their website www.rspca.org.uk or for specific information on fireworks go to www.rspca.org.uk/fireworks.
February 20 2003, Teresa Kulkarni's petition.
Teresa Kulkarni has told us her firework petition has now reached 50, 000 signatures. This is a fantastic achievement, by anybody's standards.
February 13 2002, Firework Bill Is published.
Bill Tynan's long awaited Firework Bill is published on the Parliament site. To get a copy follow this link
There is reference to a DTI document 'Explanatory Notes Bill 17-EN' we are trying to get hold of this document with a view to displaying it on our website.
January 13 2003, Manchester online, MP's new bid to curb fireworks
TIGHTER restrictions on fireworks could be in place before the next Bonfire Night. A private member's Bill put forward by MP Bill Tynan calls for a clampdown on the times fireworks can be sold. It also includes measures to reduce noise levels of fireworks and introduce an 11pm curfew, after which fireworks must not be let off.
The Bill could be the most important development yet in the campaign against the uncontrolled use of fireworks, which has been backed by the M.E.N.
It has government backing which means that it stands a strong chance of being approved by both the House of Commons and House of Lords - so it could become law quickly. Mr Tynan and supporters of his bill hope that it could become law before November 5. If it is approved, it will mean firework sales restricted to three weeks before Bonfire Night and a few days after it
January 11 2003, News of a Petition in St Helens
Thought you may be interested in the campaign we have been running in the St Helens area. Following a number of letters from local residents concerning the all year round use of fireworks we decided to launch a petition calling for tighter legislation covering the sale and use of fireworks. We involved all the Labour Councillors on St Helens MBC Council, local resident's groups, local Vets and dozens of local individuals in the campaign.
We collected signatures at street stalls around the borough, at St Helens Rugby League games, in local shops, clubs and pubs, and door to door .We collected around 4000 signatures by New Year's Day and we have handed the petition to St Helens North MP Dave Watts. Dave will hand the petition to the Minister responsible for regulating the sale and use of fireworks.
The public mood is firmly behind tightening the laws on the sale and use of fireworks. We were looking to collect around 2000 signatures but we were flooded with requests for petition forms. I do have a picture of local Councillors and campaigners handing the petition to Dave Watts MP if you are interested.
Keep up the good work.
Sandra Banawich , Newton West Councillor, St Helens MBC
Well done Sandra, and well done the people of St Helens
January 2003 Apologies for the absence.
We would like to apologise for the lack of information on this site. Some of the new information has been given on our Forum, but that excuse is still not good enough. Things have been very busy at the Campaign, and now things have quietened down a little, we are able to catch up on this site. Things you may have missed.
January 1 2003, Mexico fireworks blast kills 28
BBC NEWS reports, "At least 28 people have been killed in the Mexican port town of Veracruz following an explosion and fire which started at an illegal fireworks stand. Fifty people were injured in the blaze, which engulfed market stalls and nearby buildings in a packed New Year's Eve market."
December 23 2002, Woman hurt in firework attack
BBC News reports, "A woman has been injured in a firework attack on an Indian restaurant in Warwickshire."
December 19 2002, Two hurt by firework
Evening Chronicle reports, "A high-powered firework has left two teenagers in hospital. The 17-year-olds lit the firework which they had found in the road in Deptford Terrace, Pallion, Sunderland. The device, which is only for sale to organised events, exploded, leaving both youths with facial injuries and one with burns to his hands. Police are investigating how the firework came to be in the street yesterday afternoon."
December 16 2002, Firework ban is backed by 1,700
Evening Chronicle reports, "A Campaign in Blyth Valley to control firework sales has been backed by more than 1,700 people."
12 December 2002, Fireworks were discussed in the Welsh Assembly. Tackling the Fireworks Menace, was raised by Lorraine Barrett, Janice Gregory. 4 Subscribers, Brian Hancock, Richard Edwards,
Gareth Jones, Val Lloyd.
"The National Assembly for Wales expresses the concerns of constituents from all over Wales and calls on the UK Government to urgently review fireworks legislation and in particular:
- to require all public firework displays to be controlled by licensed pyrotechnicians;
- to restrict the times of the year fireworks can be bought ;
- to restrict the times of the day fireworks can be set off;
- to license all vendors of fireworks to meet strict safety criteria and to give trading standards the power to revoke the license of any vendor caught selling fireworks to underage children"
December 2002 Bill Tynan MP for Hamilton South came third in a Private Members Ballot. Mr Tynan chose to take the Firework Bill. The first reading was a formal occasion, but the second reading will be on February 28 2003. As yet unpublished, the Bill could again test the water for a Government Bill.
November 27 2002, Second firework incident hits town
This is The West Country reports, "An Ilminster family had a lucky escape after a large display firework was set off inside a pub early on Monday morning. The firework, a bundle of about 20 rockets - was "meant to go off in all directions and burn us down," according to Joan Poole, the landlady of the Dolphin in Silver Street. It is the second major incident involving fireworks in the town in recent weeks"
November 25 2002, We could have died, say trapped couple
This is Bradford reports, "Calls were made today for smoke detectors in all Bradford Council's sheltered flats to be linked to a central control room after a disabled man and his wife became trapped in their smoke-filled home. Terrified Norman and Kim Sharp were cooking when a lighted firework was shoved through their letterbox, blocking off their only means of escape at the complex of nearly 100 flats."
November 25 2002, Council in call for firework control
This is The West Country reports, "Sparks could be about to fly in Westminster following a series of firework attacks in Ilminster and Crewkerne. South Somerset District Council is to consider approaching the Local Government Association, calling on members to lobby the Government for tighter restrictions on the sale of fireworks."
November 22 2002, Council calls for tighter sales control
Henley on Line reports, "Tighter restrictions should be introduced to control the sale of fireworks, according to Oxfordshire county councillors. Members of the council's executive board have agreed to ask the Government for new legislation which will help to control the sale and use of fireworks."
November 22 2002, Ban anger as rocket smashes through roof
This is Devon reports, "A firework that smashed through the roof of a house in Torquay has prompted an angry homeowner to call for a ban on their use in urban areas. Jean Haynes, 72, said the missile - a 'Cosmic' rocket attached to a three-and-a-half foot stick - could easily have killed someone."
November 20 2002, Voter results from Horsham on line
Should fireworks be restricted to organised displays?
Yes 76.67 %
No 23.33 %
November 19 2002, Tories demand firework curbs
Local London reports, "Tories in the south of the borough are calling for tougher restrictions on the sale of fireworks to stamp out prolonged anti-social abuse of the explosives."
November 18 2002, Fireworks Fright 'Killed' Horse
This is Devon reports, "Fireworks turned into a nightmare for Wendy Gilbert from St Columb, who had to put down her horse after it panicked and ran into a fence. Fleur the mare was in the paddock she had peacefully shared with another horse for the last seven years when the rogue fireworks went off, not part of any organised display. The mare was frightened by the flares and bangs and galloped into a fence in a blind and instinctive effort to flee."
November 15 2002, Valuable cow dies after firework panic
icCheshireOnline reports, "A farmer is demanding compensation from bosses at a Cheshire racing circuit after one of his prized cows died during a corporate firework display. Robin Jeffs watched in horror as a herd of pedigree Holstein Friesian cows panicked after being frightened by a display at the Oulton Park circuit in Little Budworth.."
November 15 2002, Ban firework sales
icTeesside reports, "A total ban on firework sales to the general public has been called for by a Teesside council. And one local councillor has given an account of the hostile reception he received when he investigated complaints of an unauthorised fireworks party."
14 November 2002 Fireworks were discussed in the Scottish Parliament. For details please go to our Parliament site.
November 14 2002, Rocket attack blasts house window
icSurreyOnline reports, "An Ashtead couple had a lucky escape on Monday night when a firework launched at their house and blew a hole in their bedroom window."
November 14 2002, Blunkett backs curbs on fireworks
Leeds Today reports, "The Government is considering new restrictions on firework sales in a victory for campaigners. Plans being studied include mandatory limits on the time of year when fireworks can be sold.
The plan would mean statutory rules to strengthen a voluntary agreement which limits sales to a period around Bonfire Night and the New Year. Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "I think we need to look at whether we need more legislative back-up for that."
November 14 2002, Terror in pubs as air bombs thrown in
This is Bradford reports, "Customers at pubs in Undercliffe were left terrified after a gang threw powerful fireworks through the doors. Police are investigating air bomb attacks at the Robin Hood, Green Man and the Malt Kiln pubs on Saturday afternoon."
November 12 2002, Firework terror on bus
icHuddersfield reports, "A woman is believed to have fled a bus in terror after a yob let off a firework on it."
November 12 2002, Fireworks thrown at police officers
icSouthlondon reports, Fireworks were thrown at police and five people were arrested as trouble flared at the Peckham Rye bonfire celebrations on Tuesday."
November 9 2002, Blast off
icWales reports, "An astounding 99 per cent of you want tougher legislation on fireworks. Our phone poll revealed the huge majority of readers support a campaign to curb the sale and use of the explosives."
November 9 2002, Girl, 6, in firework horror
This is Brighton & Hove reports, "A six-year-old girl suffered severe burns when a firework shot out of control and landed in her hair. The girl was sitting watching fireworks in the back garden of her Brighton home when the Roman candle flew towards her."
November 8 2002, Bylaw bid to stop firework menace
icCoventry reports, "Council chiefs are to ask deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to make Coventry the first city to have a bylaw banning fireworks from being let off at all hours. The authority yesterday gave the go ahead for the unique request to stop firework use between 11pm and 7am - apart from on New Year's Eve. The call comes after a massive public outcry about dangerous fireworks being let off all night for months on end."
November 8 2002, Woman dies yobs hunted
icHuddersfield reports, "An 84-year-old woman has died after she was knocked over by a yob in Huddersfield bus station. The youth is thought to have been running away after a firework exploded in the station yesterday teatime. The woman was knocked to the ground and the youngster fled."
November 8 2002, Town wants clampdown on fireworks
This is Bradford reports, Skipton could lead the way in curbing the irresponsible use of fireworks.
Councillors have received complaints from residents in their own wards and they have agreed that something should be done. Coun Paul Whitaker suggested that a by-law could be introduced requiring anyone who wanted to have a firework party, at any time of the year, to get permission first. He suggested that this would then give police power to clampdown on youngsters letting off fireworks for no particular reason.
November 8 2002, Families Flee From Fireworks Terror
This is Devon reports, "Horrified parents ran for safety as a public fireworks display exploded into chaos.
Families ran for cover when fireworks began shooting in all directions after they were thrown on to the display's bonfire."
November 7 2002, Fireworks spark 212 complaints
Leicester Mercury reports, "A record number of complaints about fireworks has prompted campaigners to push for tighter controls. Between mid-September and November 5, there were 212 reports from city residents of noise and irresponsible behaviour caused by fireworks."
November 7 2002, Targeted by fireworks
This is Bristol reports, "Police officers in St Paul's were subjected to a barrage of industrial-sized fireworks deliberately aimed at them by groups of youths. The fireworks were fired from multibarrelled launchers designed for large organised displays. Police said the youths fired them by hand, putting themselves, as well as officers, at risk."
November 7 2002, Rocket causes chaos
This is Stroud reports, "A Horsley man is calling for fireworks to be banned after a rocket blew a great hole in his roof. Cotswold stone tiles came clattering down after the explosion on Saturday night and the main road through the village had to be closed as emergency services made the area safe.
"The firework took half my roof off," said Chris Gregory, who lives on Horsley Hill.
November 6 2002, Fire Crews Attacked on Bonfire Night
BBC News Scotland report, "At least two firefighters have been injured after missiles and fireworks were thrown at them during Bonfire Night attacks. Crews were attacked in East Kilbride, Coatbridge, Lanark and Old Kilpatrick."
November 6 2002, Police patrol troubled area
Burton Mail reports "An increased police presence in a troubled area of Burton has halted firework attacks on cars, gardens and people. However, the attacks, on Monday night in Uxbridge Street, described as the worst ever seen in the area, have prompted Uxbridge ward Councillor Sue Marbrow to consider mounting a national campaign to ban the sale of fireworks. Around 20 officers were drafted into the area last night after Monday night's spate of attacks when yobs hurled fireworks in the street"
November 6 2002, Horror as man is blasted by firework
Evening Times reports, "A young man injured when a firework exploded in his face could lose his eyesight. Alex, 22, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, was "serious" today after last night's accident."
November 6 2002, Fireworks are thrown into church
The Express and Star reports, "Yobs hurled exploding fireworks through the windows of a church, smashing glass and causing hundreds of pounds of damage."
November 6 2002, 'Mindless' firework thugs slammed
icBirmingham reports, " Police today condemned "mindless" offenders who threw lighted fireworks into a bedroom where a six-month-old baby girl was sleeping. West Midlands Police said the incident at a maisonette in Glentworth Gardens, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, could have cost the youngster her life.
Detectives said a group of youths smashed a window at the property at about 8pm yesterday before dropping lighted fireworks into the room. A police spokesman said: "These set fire to a bed - the baby girl was asleep in a cot in the room."
November 6 2002, Three injured after firework hits crowd
The Journal reports, "Three people were hurt last night in an accident at an organised fireworks display in Northumberland. One man was taken to hospital after a being hit near the eye at the display in Welfare Park, Bedlington. Police said it was not yet clear whether the firework had come from the organised display or had been set off by someone nearby. "
November 6 2002, Fireworks thrown into supermarket
This is Lancashire report, "Youths threw large fireworks into the foyer of a supermarket in Harwood last night. A gang jumped out of a car and threw the fireworks into the Safeway store before jumping back into their vehicle and driving off."
November 6 2002, Horse killed in firework scare
This is Mid Sussex report, "A stallion being groomed for stardom was killed after being spooked by fireworks. Two-year-old Champagne broke his leg when he took off in fright at the sound of explosions near his farm in Pyecombe late on Saturday night. "
November 6 2002, Police Chief says - 'It was like Beirut'
This is Nottingham reports, A police chief today compared a town to Beirut after "the worst Bonfire Night in his 28 years as an officer". A squad car was one of seven vehicles torched in Bulwell last night. Inspector Jeff Whitmore, based at Bulwell, said: "It was like Beirut down there. You couldn't hear yourself think for fireworks going off. They were being used as missiles instead of displays."
5 November 2002
A petition was handed in to Parliament by Mr. Parmjit Dhanda MP for Gloucester. The petition was signed by 220 of my constituents in the constituency of Gloucester.
"The petition declares that the existing legislation on fireworks is in need of urgent review. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to bring forward legislative proposals to require all public firework displays to be controlled by licensed pyrotechnicians; to license all vendors of fireworks to meet strict safety criteria, and to restrict the times of year at which fireworks can be bought."
A petition was handed in to Parliament by Mr. Bob Blizzard MP for Waveney. He said, "I wish to present a petition from 793 residents of Lowestoft in my constituency who are concerned about the nuisance and danger caused to people and animals by those who misuse fireworks; and by the spread of this practice way beyond the short period of time around 5 November to the extent that it constitutes antisocial behaviour." "The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons enacts legislation which would make it an offence to sell fireworks to individuals for private use at times other than the three weeks leading up to 5 November each year."
November 5, 2002, Firework taped to kitten's back
BBC News reports, "A kitten is recovering after a firework was taped to his back and ignited.
Toffee suffered serious burns to his back, one side of his body and his ear. The 12-week-old kitten was found by his owner's granddaughter in Everton, Liverpool, with the firework still attached to its back. "
November 5 2002, Farmers warning over fireworks
icWales reports, "As thousands of people enjoy traditional November 5 bonfires this evening, farmers are asking the public to be aware of the potentially hazardous effects of fireworks near farmland. The plight of household pets at this time of year is well highlighted, but the harm fireworks can cause to livestock is not always so well documented. A recent RSPCA survey revealed that many people want loud fireworks banned from public use and restricted to organised displays because of the possible harmful effects on pets.
November 5 2002, Rocket blasts through roof
Preston Today reports, "A deadly firework crashed through a conservatory roof and hit a terrified 10-year-old girl eating dinner with her family."
November 5 2002, Firework boy blows hand off at school, Lad's agony as 'dud' explodes
The Sun reports, "A boy's hand was blown off when a giant firework he lit in a classroom exploded in front of him."
November 5 2002, Arson ruled out in mum and baby fire drama
This is Lancashire reports, "A suspected arson attack that led to the rescue of a mother and baby from their smoke-logged flat was blamed on a stray firework today. "
November 4 2002, Toddler hurt by firework vandals
Leeds Today reports, "Little Lewis Ireland smiles bravely for the camera - his arm bearing the scars of an attack by firework thugs. The two-year-old was rushed to hospital after a rocket was hurled through the door of his Leeds home. It exploded, setting fire to the sofa as he slept and scorched his arm.
Mum Nicola, 21, said: "Something has got to be done. These fireworks are lethal in the wrong hands."
November 4 2002, Firework blast injures mayor
This is York reports, "An exploding firework hit a North Yorkshire town mayor in the face as he lit it at a public show. Councillor Colin Trevor, who is the Mayor of Selby, was taken to hospital after the faulty rocket cut his chin and burnt his arm.
November 2 2002, The RSPCA say last year, 4,825 animals were treated for firework-related injuries.
November 1 2002, Firework 'could have killed OAPs'
Burton Mail report, "A group of pensioners could have been killed when yobs threw a lit firework into a bowling club pavilion during a cribbage club meeting, it is claimed. "
November 1 2002, Horse bolted into barbed fence after firework display
icCheshireOnline report, "Exploding fireworks sent a terrified horse bolting through a barbed wire fence and left its owner with a £400 vets' bill.
October 31 2002, Firework Complaints Rocket
BBC News Scotland report, "Almost 2,000 incidents involving fireworks have been reported to Scotland's largest police force in the past six weeks. Strathclyde Police said it was a matter of "sheer luck" that no-one had been seriously injured in the huge tally of incidents. Lit fireworks have been placed in post boxes, thrown at people and at passing cars and in one case dropped in the hood of a child's jacket.
Detectives said they were concerned at the number of adults who had been involved in the incidents. "
October 31 2002, Firework badly charity building
BBCi Teletext report, "There has been a call for new controls on the sale of fireworks after a Red Cross Building was damaged. The building in Ilminster was damaged after a firework was set off in the entrance hall."
October 31 2002, Coventry to consider firework ban
icCoventry report, "Councillors in Coventry will next week decide whether to ask the government to allow the city to become one of the first in the country to bring in a bylaw banning fireworks from being set off late at night and early in the morning. "
October 28 2002, Firework thugs attack sick dogs
Preston Today reports, Two German Shepherds were given emergency treatment after a specialist Alsatian rehabilitation centre was attacked with fireworks. The pair were badly injured when youths hurled the fireworks on two separate occasions into the garden where they live.
October 26 2002, Fireworks can wreck a Guide Dog for life
The News and Star report, "A blind West Cumbrian woman has warned that reckless use of fireworks could ruin her life by scaring her guide dog so much that she is no longer able to work."
October 26 2002, Mum trapped by firework
This is Nottingham report, "Young mum Sarah Brown, who had a lucky escape when a firework was thrown through her letterbox. She and her baby daughter were in bed asleep when they were woken by two loud explosions. Her hall filled with smoke, trapping her and ten-month-old daughter, Nicole, upstairs where they were unable to reach a phone to call for help.
October 25 2002, Passengers terrified by firework gang
Local London report, "Terrified passengers including a woman seven months pregnant cowered as a lit firework thrown by a gang of youths rocketed through their busy tube carriage on Wednesday night, October 23, spewing out flame and smoke before exploding.
The youths threw the firework into the train at East Finchley station at about 6.30pm just as the doors were closing, trapping commuters inside as it detonated. "
October 25 2002, Firework thugs cause mum to lose baby
ManchesterOnline report, "A young mum has told of the harrowing moment she lost her unborn child after being hit in the stomach by a firework put through her letterbox by a gang of thugs."
October 24 2002, 25 killed in two fireworks factory fires
icScotland report, "Two separate fires have erupted in firecracker factories in southern India, killing at least 25 people. The blazes have broken out as Hindus prepared for Diwali, a religious festival next month that is celebrated with fireworks. One fire erupted in a warehouse killing 13 people and critically injuring four, most of them sleeping in a small inn next door in a crowded section of Hyderabad.
October 18 2002, Firework attack woman dies
This is Bradford report, "Youths who pushed a firework through a woman's door in Guiseley have been blamed for her death less than a week after the incident. Marie Beard, 59, died on Sunday after a long illness - but a friend believes the attack caused her health to deteriorate. Mrs Beard, who lived on her own in Tennyson Street, was helped out of her house after the explosion caused a fireball during the night on Monday, October 7."
October 16 2002, 200,000 petition handed in to No 10
Eleven boxes of petitions containing 200,000 signatures were presented at No 10 as 50 MPs crowded to support the plea. Labour MP Barry Gardiner said: "Two hundred thousand signatures is only the beginning."
October 16 2002, , More than 1, 000 sign firework petition.
BBC News 24, West Midlands report "An MP is taking his campaign for tougher laws on the sale and use of fireworks to Downing Street. Labour MP for West Bromwich East, Tom Watson, is presenting his petition signed by more than 1,000 residents of Sandwell to the Prime Minister."
Bombs by Another Name
October 16 2002, Yobs hurl rockets at firemen
Greenock Telegraph reports, "Firefighters were pelted with fireworks as they tackled a blaze in Greenock last night. "
October 14 2002, Department of Trade and Industry
Melanie Johnson unveils new package of measures to tackle fireworks misuse
"Dangerous 'pocket money' firework to be made illegal Tough new measures to cut the number of firework injuries including a ban on air bombs - a cheap and accessible 'pocket money' firework that caused up to a fifth of all firework accidents last year - were unveiled by Consumer Minister Melanie Johnson today."
Ms Johnson has proved to be the lady who likes to say yes. She has accepted a 'voluntary' ban on Air Bombs, which will still be on sale in shops next year. Now explain that to me again, Are Air Bombs banned, Answer Yes. Will I still be able to buy Air Bombs next year, answer Yes.
October 14 2002, Firemen blasted by rockets
This is Lancashire, reports "Firefighters came under attack from youths armed with rockets and other powerful fireworks on a dimly-lit Bolton street. Firemen Paul Dugdale and Glynn McGann were temporarily deafened when a firework thrown from a passing car exploded in Hopefield Street.
The windows of a nearby school were also cracked when a firework landed next to a fire-engine in another incident in Goldsmith Street.
October 12 2000, Council back firework petition
icCoventry report - "City council bosses are backing a petition to be presented to Prime Minister Tony Blair calling for tough laws on the setting off of fireworks. The petition has been raised by Barry Gardiner, MP for the London borough of Brent, and so far it has been signed by 200,000 people. The petition calls for all public firework displays to be carried out by licensed pyrotechnicians, restrictions on times of the year fireworks can be bought, restrictions on the times of day they can be set off and a requirement for sellers of fireworks to have a licence."
October 12 2002, How you voted on fireworks
Manchester Evening News, carried out a poll on fireworks. We asked yesterday if you thought that the sale of fireworks to the public should be banned. An overwhelming majority of you said that they should
October 11 2002, Dog is killed by firework thugs
Manchester News, reported "Cruel thugs killed a dog with a firework.
The taunting teenagers made the terrier believe it was a stick they were throwing. The family pet chased the large display firework and picked it up before it exploded in her mouth. Today as police hunted the thugs, it was revealed they had been taunting the dog, called Megan, for weeks with fireworks."
October 9 2002, 999 crew attacked
icNewcastle reports "Yobs hurled fireworks at firefighters tackling a blaze at an allotment.
Officers from Fulwell station, Sunderland, were engulfed in smoke after missiles were thrown by youths hiding at the rear of Adolphus Street, Whitburn."
October 9 2002, Firework injures fireman
This is Lancashire, reports "A Firefighter was injured last night when a firework thrown by a motorist exploded at his feet. He and colleagues were packing away their equipment after dousing a burning lorry on the Kearsley Spur roundabout near Bolton, when they came under attack.
October 2 2002, Firework pushed in throat of duck
The Express and Star, reported "Yobs plaguing an estate shoved a firework down a duck's throat and set fire to trees and fences. Residents in Bradley, Bilston, said youths were running riot and endangering birds and other wildlife at Rocket Pool."
October 2002 Scotland
Shona Robison lodges Firework Licensing Bill.COSLA Firework Task Group Report
Dundee-based SNP MSP Shona Robison today launched her Member's Bill to establish a licensing scheme for retailers of fireworks. The Licensing Scheme for Retailers of Fireworks (Scotland) Bill, will introduce a local authority based licensing scheme that will allow councils to regulate the number of firework retailers in their area and to exclude retailers who had been previously convicted of selling fireworks to under 18's. The bill introduces the scheme by means of an amendment to the current Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to extend the provisions of the Act to include the retailers of fireworks. Commenting on her proposed bill Ms Robison said, "I would have preferred that the Scottish Executive had acted to make this change but in the absence of that, I am lodging a member's bill. There is cross party support for this move and I hope the Scottish Executive will take this on board and lend their support to this bill." Ms Robison's bill has also been endorsed by the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
You can add your support to Shona's Proposal by filling in the online form below or by writing to: Shona Robison MSP, Parliament HQ, Scottish Parliament, EH99 1SP .
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have completed their report. For the Full report of the COSLA Fireworks Task Group, follow the link (to a PDF file 302K)An Open Letter to whom it may concern
This is very interesting reading.
October 30 2002 Fireworks were discussed by Parliament. For details please go to our Parliament site.
11 July 2002 Another Petition to the House of Commons
Yet another petition has been handed in to the House of Commons on the subject of Firework Safety.
This one makes it four so far this year
11 February, Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire), 1866 signatures
25 March, Dr. Howard Stoate (Dartford), more than 2,000 signatures
3 July, Mr. William Cash (Stone), 1500 signatures
11 July, Mr. Henry Bellingham (North-West Norfolk), 500 signatures.
The petitions are from various parts of the country, all saying the same, we have had enough.
Also one the same day, Cheryl Gillan MP, Opposition Whip, presented 'Control of Fireworks Bill No 2'. It is to be read a Second time on Friday 19 July 2002, but as yet no details of the Bill have emerged. Ms Gillan told the Campaign, "This is a private members bill that I am tabling in an attempt to get the matter discussed. I have constituents who feel very strongly".
3 July 2002 Another petition to the House of Commons
William Cash (MP for Stone) presented a petition on behalf of no fewer than 1,500 residents of Cheadle, Staffordshire. The petition, which is signed by Bill Allan of the Cheadle Conservative club and Councillor Stephen Ellis, declares that the residents are opposed to the sale of powerful and harmful fireworks to those who are not prepared to obtain them for responsible entertainment use such as organised displays.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons legislates to regulate and license the sale of powerful and potentially harmful fireworks in the interests of public health and safety.
Meanwhile Teresa and Nick Kulkarni's petition is going from strength to strength, 9,800 signatures.
22 June 2002 Firework Injury Figures released
The Consumer Minister, Melanie Johnson MP, is greatly concerned at the massive leap in Injury Figures for 2001. One child died and 1362 people were injured by fireworks in only two months last year, a spectacular 40% rise in injuries, one of the largest rises since the 1950's. Almost half the injuries occurred at back garden parties, and the other half in the streets or a public place. This has been the case ever since injuries were first compiled, decades ago, yet nothing is done. Included in the figures were 372 Eye Injuries.
Most people were injured because of the free and relatively uncontrolled access to fireworks of all categories. Even those fireworks that are banned to the public. The DTI admitted last year that most problems were caused by the retail sales of fireworks.
Melanie Johnson said she wanted proof that fireworks were out of control, now she has it. But we must give credit to Ms Johnson, she has started to take a hard line on fireworks with the discredited Firework Industry, by telling them to think again on noisy fireworks.
Northern Ireland has opted to ban fireworks, Scotland is moving to limit the retail sales of fireworks, in England petition after petition is presented to Parliament demanding action.
Over to you Ms Johnson, your government has been accused of not listening, the people, animals and wildlife have suffered enough, please listen to them and take action.
13 June 2002 New Petitions to ban fireworks in Norfolk
Two new petitions to control the sale of fireworks has begun in Norfolk.
The first petition was started by Teresa Kulkarni and Tracy Jackson in Kings Lynn. On the first day 40 people signed the petition, a fortnight later 450 had signed it and now the website discloses over 7,000 signatures.
Here is Teresa's open letter
This petition is simple, straightforward and long overdue. Click here to go to Teresa's website
This year, like every year before it, hundreds of people will be injured, property will be destroyed, animals terrified and injured and thousands of pounds of public funds will be wasted on emergency services responding to a completely preventable danger.
All of this because Fireworks are freely available in this country.
You only have to talk to Emergency Services workers about Fireworks and the suffering they cause to wonder why they are allowed. Speak to the RSPCA or any Vet or Farmer and you will learn of the suffering they cause animals all over the country.
Every year the government appeals for the public to take care on Guy Fawkes Night. The fact is that despite this the injuries continue. Is it not time the government actually did something about preventing the problem? As a homeowner with pets, I have decided to take a stand to protect people, animals and property. Many people, including myself have had lighted fireworks thrown at our animals our property and ourselves. Even if you have not been directly affected, Fireworks still cost you money.
Last year in my area of King's Lynn seven, Dog Litter Bins were blown up by fireworks. Luckily, no one was hurt this time. However, the cost of replacing those bins was over £1,000 in parts only. These along with the cost of other works of firework vandalism are added to the tax bill of every household in the Borough. It takes little imagination to realise this is happening all over the country.
Tightening up regulations will not work. Already we have very stringent laws on the sale of alcohol, tobacco, glue and knives. Yet, children easily and frequently obtain them, as any street corner will show. How many children have you seen smoking? How many have you seen with cans of beer? We waste thousands of pounds on trying to enforce these hopeless regulations. Honest shopkeepers fear being caught out by ever-smarter kids out to break the law.
Unlike glue and knives, there is absolutely no need for fireworks. The simplest, foolproof and most enforceable option is to ban their sale to the public completely and that is what this petition calls for.
No one wants to spoil the fun of Guy Fawkes Night or put Fireworks manufacturers out of business. Let us have licensed displays. Indeed if the public can not buy their own fireworks that should mean better attendance at displays and more demand for the expensive display fireworks from the organisers. Even if things do go wrong at a display at least the emergency services can be in attendance on standby which they can not do if they are running all over the place to everyone's back garden.
These are just a few cases known to us directly there are many more out there. Only last year a friend of mine, an elderly lady, was walking her dog in a local park when a group of youths threw lighted fireworks at her. This was reported to the police who could do nothing. Last year gangs of children in local housing estates were seen throwing lighted fireworks at property and each other. Newspaper reports occur every year of animals that have had fireworks tied to their bodies.
If you agree with this petition and would like to help please print the petitions form and distribute it in your area. You might try putting the forms in your Doctors or Veterinary surgery, your local post office and RSPCA and Animal Rescue shelters. My address to return the petition form to is at the bottom as is the closing date. Thank you for your time and help.
Click here to download a petition form
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NCFS says, This petition shows just what can be done, so download the petition have yourself and a few friends complete it and send it to Teresa.
Together we will make it happen.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has also launched a petition, although his calls for tighter regulations on the sale of fireworks.
12 June 2002 The Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament debated Fireworks. The full debate can be seen on the Parliamentary Page on our website, or by clicking on Scottish Firework Debate, June 12 2002
Several issues emerge, but you can be sure of one thing, they feel the need for tighter controls on fireworks, even if it means going it alone. In a Survey carried out in Dundee, they quote, 84% wanted licensed displays only, and 1% wanted fireworks to be unchanged.
1 May 2002 Convention of Scottish Local Authorities - News Releases
COUNCILS WANT TOUGHER ACTION ON FIREWORKS
Scotland's Councils are demanding changes to the present arrangements governing the sale of fireworks.
COSLA has been asked by its member councils to lobby central government to amend existing legislation following an unprecedented increase in the number of complaints from the public.
So concerned are some councils that they have called for an outright ban on the sale of fireworks.
A COSLA Task Group led by North Lanarkshire Council heard yesterday that fireworks are no longer something which are restricted to a week before and a few days after 5 November but are now a 365-day a year problem.
Another frequent complaint is that the power of domestic fireworks is now much greater than before, meaning much bigger, noisier and potentially more dangerous devices than in previous years.
The councils' concerns are fully backed by both the fire and police services in Scotland as well as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Police figures show that the 2001 fireworks season was something of a watershed with a significant increase in the use and abuse of fireworks with all force areas reporting a sharp increase in complaints. This statistical evidence is also backed up by Fire Brigade Service figures.
Commenting today (Wednesday) Councillor Tom Maginnis, Chair of the COSLA Task Group said: "Change is needed and that is what we will be demanding. Part of our remit is to identify the changes that will be most beneficial to have and we will then take the matter up with the Westminster government."
Councillor Maginnis concluded: "The misuse of fireworks has become a serious community safety problem causing considerable stress, upset and annoyance to both the quality of peoples lives and to family pets and livestock. The matter has in recent times got out of hand and urgent change and a tightening of legislation is now needed."
21 April 2002 Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals vote
Since last November, the Society has been campaigning to try to raise awareness of the problems concerning fireworks, and to get the law changed for the future.
The telephone and website poll launched by the Scottish SPCA for the month of February received a tremendous response. Over 3,500 people registered their votes. The total number of votes in support of the campaign was 3,574 (98%) - with only 77 people voting against.
We would like to thank all those people who took the time to vote.
There is currently very little that can be done to protect against the use of fireworks, and the Scottish SPCA would like to see stronger legislation involving the sale and use of fireworks.
The campaign has stirred interest among many organisations and individuals. Various local authorities have asked for further information - and several MSPs have given their support. Based on the Scottish SPCA research, Edinburgh MP John Barrett has lodged an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Westminster, asking for greater restrictions on the sale of fireworks. To date, over 100 MPs have signed this EDM in support. In the Scottish Parliament Shona Robison MSP has also put down a motion to restrict firework use.
The Society wants to give the Dump Squibs campaign a higher profile prior to this year's firework season. It is important that Scotland's animal-lovers continue to apply pressure to keep this campaign active. Please consider writing to your local MP and MSP explaining your concerns, and ask them to support John Barrett's and Shona Robison's motions.
15 April 2002 Kennedy Announces New Restrictions On Fireworks
Security Minister Jane Kennedy has announced plans to prevent the abuse of fireworks in response to appeals from the public.
Regulations were this morning laid before Parliament which will prohibit the purchase, possession, sale and use of garden fireworks except under licence.
The change in the law, which is the result of the Minister's review of firework policy announced in October, will come into effect from 6 May 2002. From that date, only those who successfully apply for a licence from the NIO will be allowed to buy garden fireworks.
"I regret having to take this step but I know from the groundswell of public opinion during the consultation process just how upset many people have been by the constant abuse of fireworks. What should be a source of entertainment has, in many areas, become a public nuisance," Ms Kennedy said.
"In particular many elderly people and pet-owners are distressed every year by fireworks being let off by young people and thrown into gardens or doorways, frequently late at night. This must stop.
"Families across Northern Ireland will still be able to enjoy fireworks in a controlled and safe way. But the action I have taken today will help to ensure fireworks are used for entertainment, rather than to injure, maim or distress the elderly, those living alone or helpless animals."
"The move will also help to prevent the use of fireworks as weapons against the police.
"I am not so naive to think that these measures alone will solve all the problems. But today's regulations demonstrate that I will do whatever is necessary to improve the quality of life for both the general public and the security forces," Ms Kennedy said.
"I recognise the concerns of retailers who fear a potential impact on their livelihood but I know from the appeals that I have received that the vast majority of the public will welcome this move."
"Notes to Editors
1. The review of fireworks policy took into account the views of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, as well as the general public. The Minister also liaised closely with the Fireworks Industry both here and in GB, and with the police and prosecuting authorities.
2. The licensing requirement covers all fireworks, except indoor fireworks and sparklers. Air bombs, bangers, mini-rockets and fireworks of erratic flight are not permitted at all.
3. The Regulations have to be laid before Parliament for 21 days before coming into effect.
4. From 6 May 2002 any garden fireworks found in the possession of anyone without a licence (other than a legitimate trader) will be illegal and could result in a fine up of up to £5,000 for the offender.
5. The public can apply to stage one-off firework events by obtaining an application form from the Northern Ireland Office by telephoning 02890 520057. Fireworks can only be sold by retailers registered by the Northern Ireland Office under the Explosives Act 1875.
6. The law in the Republic of Ireland prohibits the sale of fireworks to anyone other than professional display operators.
Friday 15 March 2002 there will be a press conference at the House of Commons.
CAFFA, Coalition Against Fireworks-For Animals, have arranged this conference to coincide with the second reading of the Firework Bill presented by Barry Gardiner MP. Unfortunately Mr Gardiner's Bill will proceed no further due to lack of parliamentary time. The conference, has been called solely to discuss fireworks in relation to animals. Many deaths have been caused to domestic pets like cats and dogs, but who knows what untold misery is caused to farm and wild animals. The conference is to be held in the Jubilee Room in the House of Commons and begins at 11.30 am. If you feel strongly about this subject, please come along. You will be more than welcome.
Our Director Mr Noel Tobin has been asked to open the meeting.
There will be a photo-call before the meeting at 11.00 am, with MP's Tony Banks, Joan Ryan and Barry Gardiner.
COFFAW (Control Of Fireworks for Animal Welfare) will also be represented
1 March 2002 - FIREWORKS - Ministerial Statement by Melanie Johnson
Millions of fireworks are sold and used safely each year. However, I know from the many letters I have received that people have serious concerns about their use. I am fully aware of the depth of feeling and opinion expressed and I continue to take a close personal interest in fireworks issues.
We are now actively considering with relevant government departments (Cabinet Office, Home Office, DTLR and DEFRA) what action can be taken within existing legislation to address these growing problems. I am also having further talks with the industry I hope that the following information might address some of the main concerns.
The main thing I am asked is why the Government doesn't opt for an outright ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.
We considered this move in a review of fireworks controls in 1996. We decided after careful consideration, that a total ban on fireworks for private use would be unworkable, because it could lead to a black market in fireworks and might also encourage people to make home-made fireworks. We are also aware that fireworks, when used safely and with consideration for others, are a popular form of family entertainment. All fireworks sold in the UK have to comply with strict British safety standards, which also restrict their size and explosive content.
It's clear that many people are upset by the levels of noise and nuisance caused by fireworks.
The Firework (Safety) Regulations we introduced in 1997 - aimed at increasing the safety of fireworks supplied to the public - were also designed to reduce the level of disturbance and nuisance. The Regulations ban certain fireworks from being sold to the public, for example: aerial shells, mortars and some other large, powerful fireworks as well as the large professional display type 'Category 4' fireworks. Bangers and Chinese Crackers are also banned and the explosive content, size and weight of some fireworks have been reduced.
I have asked the fireworks industry to consider how noise and nuisance may be cut further. I am glad to say that they have responded positively and have taken the step of ending the supply of airbombs - with effect from 2003. These are frequently identified as the fireworks which are set off in the street by hooligans.
This measure demonstrates the responsible view that industry is taking to reducing noise and disturbance.
Our annual fireworks safety campaign will also continue to encourage more considerate behaviour by the public when using fireworks.
I know that many people worry that teenagers are able to get hold of fireworks illegally, and there is no doubt that unfortunately, a large number of complaints are about their behaviour.
Many accidents are caused by people - and particularly young people - ignoring the fireworks safety code. To try to cut accidents among young people, the 1997 Regulations only allow for fireworks to be sold people aged 18 and over. Trading Standards Departments enforce these Regulations across the country. All retailers which sell fireworks have to be licensed. The Health and Safety Executive is consulting on a proposal to enable local authorities to refuse or revoke a licence where they consider the licensee not to be a "fit person" (for example by breaking the law through selling fireworks to under 18s).
I'm aware that many people are concerned that fireworks seem to be available all year round, rather than just in the run up to Bonfire Night.
The Consumer Protection Act enables us to address the intrinsic safety of goods such as fireworks, but doesn't allow for the times when they can be sold , set off or regulated. Because of this we secured agreement from the firework industry that fireworks would only be sold three weeks before 5 November and for a few days afterwards and for a similar period over the New Year.
We believe this has been helpful in containing the availability of fireworks on the high street. The industry and Trading Standards Departments do remind retailers of this message in the run-up to the annual firework season. However we recognise that this arrangement is not perfect, and that public demand for fireworks extends beyond traditional periods for example, for celebrating weddings, birthdays or festivals, such as Diwali. I recently met representatives of the fireworks industry and called on them to examine levels of compliance and the overall effectiveness of the agreement.
I hope I have given people more information on the issues that most concern them about fireworks as well as what we are doing to help ease some of the problems where we can.
MELANIE JOHNSON, CONSUMER MINISTER
27 February 2002
Joan Ryan gave a strong performance as she presented her Firework Bill, which would ban the sale of fireworks to the general public, in the House of Commons. Robert Key opposed the Bill. The Bill, which we strongly support, began its passage today, and passed to a second reading with Mr Key's sole voice in opposition.
Mr Key, ever the politician, mentioned his own website's voting to back his position. His website question is
The Government should impose lower noise limits on Fireworks?
To say yes, you agree with him, and therefore, by his reasoning, against the Bill.
To say no, is to give the Firework Industry licence to make even more louder fireworks.
Come on Mr Key, you are better than that.
We are advising our supporters to treat your 'scam' with the contempt it deserves.
Of course the Government should impose lower noise restrictions, as well as looking at other solutions. The problem is fireworks are handled irresponsibly.
Mr Key has little understanding of the situation, so let us spell it out for him.
Fireworks kill, whether they are quiet or noisy they kill. Martin Lamparter, Paul Ridge, Stephen Timcke, David Hattersley, Dale Mitchell, and many others in Peru, China, Mexico, Holland, Spain and The United States of America.
Fireworks blow children's hands apart, quiet or not.
Fireworks blind children for life, quiet or not.
Youths are using fireworks as weapons against Fire-Fighters and Police.
The noise of fireworks can now be measured in miles rather than yards. On the Explosives Industry Groups own website, firework enthusiasts openly boasted about a fireworks ability to set off car alarms over a wide area.
The Firework Industry are a law unto themselves, it's about time they came under the laws of Britain.
4 February 2002
The Campaign's momentum gathers pace, we now have a 'Firework Forum' so you can add your contribution to the firework debate. We acknowledge other campaigners in the fight for firework safety, by adding them to our 'link's page'.
Barry Gardiner MP's 'Control of Fireworks' looks set to garner support from all sides of the house. Early Day Motions carried out in November 2001 gathered 64 signatures. We ask you to contact your MP and ensure that he knows your feelings regarding fireworks when the subject is next voted upon in the House of Commons.
20 January 2002
Six people have been killed and two others injured when fireworks in an illegal workshop exploded in southern China's Hunan province. The dead are the owner Liu Junping, his wife, 13 year old son, and three female employees. Although we are many miles away, may we offer our condolences to the friends and family of the unfortunate victims. It is such a heart-breaking loss.
A year ago Noel Tobin asked the DTI about imported fireworks, with specific reference to the terrible accident at Fanglin School where 41 schoolchildren died on Wednesday 7 2001. The DTI were unable to give any guarantees that all fireworks imported into this country come from proper firework manufacturers. How many of the fireworks that were sold over Guy Fawkes period came from Mr Linping's illegal workshop? Where he worked and tragically died, with his young son.
Until we are satisfied that all imported fireworks are made, and are seen to be made in accordance with BS 7114, we shall seek a ban on all imported fireworks.
9 January, 2002
At Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons it was stated that another wasteful tragedy has occurred. We quote from Hansard.
Joan Ryan (Enfield, North): Just four weeks ago, on 12 December, 13-year-old Martin Lamparter, who lived and went to school in my constituency, died in a tragic accident involving fireworks. His family are absolutely devastated. In the light of that terrible loss of a young life and the almost 1,000 firework-related injuries that occur each year, would the Prime Minister look again at whether the legislation that allows the retail sale of fireworks is adequate, and whether further measures could be taken to protect the public, especially young people, from the dangers that fireworks present?
The Prime Minister: The risks associated with fireworks are very clear, as my hon. Friend says. Once the Government have the full statistics and the results of the survey of firework accidents that have occurred this year, we will certainly consider whether any changes are necessary. As a result of action that has been taken over many years, we have succeeded in reducing the number of accidents significantly, but if something remains to be done, once we have completed the survey and done the analysis of what changes need to be put in place, we will change the system even further.
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Martin
January 1, 2002
The latest in a series of firework related explosions claimed the lives of 40 people in the Chinese province of Jiangxi. Another sad, sad loss of life, on behalf of the campaign, and its supporters, may we send our deepest sympathies to those caught up in this tragedy.
December 31, 2001
In Peru's capital city, Lima, a firework started a conflagration that claimed 240 lives. Nearly a third of the victims were children. At a time when everyone should be rejoicing with friends and family, this sad and wasteful loss colours our thoughts. Our deepest sympathies go to the families, relatives and friends of the victims.
October 21 2001
BBC Hereford and Worcester report three young boys injured in Worcester after playing with fireworks.
Weekend October 19/20 October 2001
In Manchester two youths were admitted to hospital with severe hand injuries caused by fireworks.
The Campaign's call for this years Guy Fawkes celebration's to be cancelled as a mark of respect for those affected by the tragic events both in America and Afghanistan has been well received, and many people have responded saying that instead of buying fireworks they will donate the money to the victims of the tragedy.
If, however, you feel that you must celebrate on November 5th, then please, please buy from a reputable supplier. Police found a 'huge cache' of fireworks all destined for the black market, stored in a terraced house in Dormanstown, near Redcar. A death was caused last year when a firework, 'bought from the back of a lorry', failed to ignite correctly. The firework was then found and whilst trying to re-ignite the firework it exploded. So while we ask you not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, if you must make sure the fireworks are made and manufactured to BS-7114, and sold from a reputable shop.
In Ireland the police have issued a warning regarding Black Cat fireworks. The warning is in the Irish Independent and states 'FOUR CHILDREN have been injured, one seriously, from highly dangerous illegal fireworks sweeping the country in the run-up to Hallowe'en.
All the children suffered hand injuries in the past seven days from the fireworks and last night a leading plastic surgeon warned other youngsters would be maimed in coming weeks.
Gardai confirmed that the Black Cat bangers, made in China, are on sale in this country and that they are "extremely dangerous" and can explode the second they are lit.
Other dangerous makes of bangers are also on sale on the black market they have slow fuses and have also injured unsuspecting children who, thinking they have failed to detonate, have picked them up again.
The National Safety Council expressed concern yesterday that children living in border counties are able to get bangers from across the border in the North, where they are legal.
Most of the fireworks imported into Ireland and sold illegally are of "dubious origin" and do not meet any safety standards, a spokeswoman said.'
Again we repeat our advice, follow the firework code and buy fireworks made to BS-7114, and if anyone tries to sell you fireworks without the BS 7114, contact the police immediately.
We are appalled by the events unfolding in America, current estimates are that over 5,000 persons are missing, presumed dead. May we extend, on behalf of our members, our deepest sympathy to the families, relatives and friends of the victims caught up in this tragedy.
We are informed, by 'Fireworks Statistics 2000', that another two people have been killed by fireworks. Our first thoughts go out to the family, relatives and friends of those two people. We at the Campaign consider every accident a failure on our part to make everyone aware of the dangers of not using fireworks safely, but to be told two people have lost their lives, needlessly, fills us with great sadness, and as we approach the first anniversary of their deaths our sympathy goes out to their loved ones.
We are pleased to announce an addition to our website. We have added a 'Parliament' page. Here you are able to access all the debates that have taken place in the Houses of Parliament, since 1989. We have also added a new links page which will give you access to other Firework Safety sites.
The burgeoning firework display industry has been in most people's minds over the past week. We have received many complaints by mail and phone call. Even on the 'Today' programme it was mentioned by John Humphries an item about lottery money. Many people have just had enough of a celebration that goes on from September until New Year's Eve.
For people with pets and children, the majority of the population have either or both, it has been too much with the constant bangs and bombardment. This campaign which has worked for licensed displays for 30 years is in agreement. We cannot have this for so many months of the year.
The DTI fell in with the industry's demand for an extra sales period in December equivalent to the October-November sales period. They should not have. If the industry want to show their unbridled greed then they will have to take responsibility for that and any injuries and suffering to children and animals. And incidentally, there is no tradition of fireworks in the UK at New Year. The industry will find that there is a big turn off for fireworks in the future.
Ballot for Private Members Bills
The Ballot for Private members Bills is before us again, and we are asking all those MP's who were successful in the Ballot to give serious thought to reviving the Fireworks Regulation Bill that originated from us and others and was presented by the DTI, through a backbencher. That was 2 years ago and the Bill was talked out by a group of Tory MPs who are against all legislation no matter how necessary. Nobody can say that a Bill on fireworks is unnecessary when we have not had one since 1875.
Sadly the old year took with it 8 people killed in a fire at Volendam, Holland. Witnesses reported hearing explosions and seeing partygoers taking live fireworks inside the cafe. Minutes later the floors of the building were an inferno.
Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of those killed and injured.
Sadly we must report our first fatality, for four years. Paul Ridge, aged 18, suffered massive head injuries and died instantly when a firework exploded in his face. He had been trying to re-light a firework after it failed to go off at a public display, outside a pub in Burnley. His death highlights the need for professional firework display operatives, who would have known that a firework had misfired and been able to deal with it. We have campaigned for all firework displays to be licensed and run in a professional manner. The fireworks involved in this display were bought in Manchester from a man selling them from the back of a lorry. This once again shows how woeful our firework laws are.
Last week we handed in a petition, signed by 28,452 people, calling for stricter controls on firework use, which was presented to the Commons. It is about time that officials from Government level down to local councillors took notice of what the people are saying.
Enough is enough.
In Hawick, a boy aged 18, is being charged with assault, for firing a rocket through a woman's front door. The woman suffered abdominal and wrist injuries.
I think we have had enough.
Our annual report this year deals with many items on fireworks notwithstanding the fact that the DTI who have control on the subject have done precisely nothing to improve the legislative aspect of matters. This year the DTI will be dealing with children who are injured by fireworks. But it seems to have escaped their notice that children have suffered the most injuries for 30 years that we have been looking at firework injury statistics.
Last year the Minister for Consumer affairs Dr. Kim Howells confirmed that there was an anomaly allowing people to horde unlimited tonnes of fireworks in their houses, garages and warehouses, after we exposed the fact that one man had 4 tonnes of fireworks delivered to his private house. At the time the company 'Black Cat' which had supplied the fireworks said this man could have had 20 tonnes of firework if he had so desired, as long as he did not hold them longer than 14 days. As there is no central or local register of addresses where large quantities of fireworks are delivered it makes it a nightmare for the Fire Brigade, who have said that they do not know what sort of disaster they could be heading for. Dr. Howells said that it was disgraceful and he hoped that the Health & Safety Commission would deal with it within a few weeks.
Last week the Trading Standards Officers in Scotland uncovered amounts of illegally stored fireworks in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. One warehouse in East Kilbride was found to be storing more than 10 times the legal amount.
So Enschede could happen here.
A year on the Minister's hope lies with the Health & Safety Commission, which was supposed to close that particular loophole, and are not due to report till next year on possible new legislation to get rid of the 1875 Firework Laws and storage regulations for fireworks. Meanwhile we have had the Enschede disaster in the Netherlands in May, because of 20 tonnes of fireworks stored in a Warehouse at Street/Town level. With the lack of any kind of licensing or import restriction from dangerous fireworks coming in from the Far East we are wide open to a disaster. Politicians here of course said that it could not happen here. We say it most certainly could.
In October 2000, A petition signed by over 28,452 people calling for stricter controls on firework use was presented to the House of Commons.
We are intending to keep you fully informed, but you can help. If you know of any firework related incidents that you think we should know about,
then please e-mail us at email@example.com
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