Page 13 - HOT NEWS NOV 2014
P. 13
New Team Tackle Illegal Sales
Watch Manager Ian Mullen with fireworks that have been seized after they were being sold illegally
in Merseyside.
Photo: Karl Mansfield.
A new team has been set up to check shops are storing and selling fireworks safely and legally.
The group of 20 Fire Safety Technical Officers from our Service are carrying out inspections of stores across Merseyside.
Fireworks can only be sold by retailers with a licence from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service between October 15 and November 10.
Our Service officers working closely with Merseyside Police have made a number of seizures of fireworks stored without a licence along with illegal fireworks since they started working together in 2006.
The illegal sale of fireworks and poor storage of fireworks can lead to prosecution, resulting in prison terms and large fines.
The new team was formed this year to
support local businesses to store and sell fireworks safely and carry out inspections to uncover those who deliberately flout the law and put people at danger through unsafe storage of fireworks and illegal sales.
Fire and Rescue Service officers working with police officers have helped convict people for offences including selling fireworks illegally and poor storage of fireworks.
The number of illegal fireworks seized however has reduced from 12 tonnes in 2006 to 1.5 tonnes in 2012.
Last year during the run up to bonfire night more than half a tonne of illegal fireworks were seized by Fire and Police Officers.
The Good Guys
Prevention teams from our Service and firefighters have been working hard over the last few weeks across all districts in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
In the Liverpool district partner agencies were encouraged to get their staff to Adopt A Street following an initiative launched by Liverpool North District Prevention Manager Sarah Wyatt in 2012. The initiative also ran last year but was expanded this year and sees people helping to spread safety messages amongst the street they have adopted, encouraging people to put wheelie bins away as soon as they have been emptied and other fire safety messages.
In other work a free music event was held at Toxteth Fire Fit Hub on October 30 and 31, organised through the Liverpool South Prevention Team. There were also multiple sessions of Cage Soccer, run by the charity Fire Support Network. Organised displays were also attended by our staff.
In St Helens, the Operation Good Guy campaign was also in action in the last few weeks asking residents to report any build-ups of combustible waste and street bonfires, to the Council's contact centre on 01744 676789.
Community Safety Partner agencies, including St Helens Council, our Service, Merseyside Police, Helena Partnerships, Riverside and others, worked together to help keep St Helens safe and clean over the bonfire period, by removing the source of illegal street bonfires and nuisance fires.
A free event for hundreds of young people, called Carn’Evil, was also staged at St Helens Community Fire Station on
Our Service and Merseyside Police have also issued warnings about the dangers of bangers and selling fireworks illegally this year.
Watch Manager Ian Mullen, Arson Reduction Co-ordinator for our Service, said: "The Fire Safety Technical Officers already have experience working with businesses and shops in Merseyside to highlight Fire Safety laws, help improve fire safety and reduce the risk and chance of fire. These are experienced officers.
“Illegal fireworks are unpredictable and are dangerous. People who sell illegal fireworks, particularly to youngsters, could be responsible for leaving them with serious injuries through firework misuse.
“Selling fireworks out of the back of a van or a house is illegal. It is also illegal to throw fireworks in the street. We support local businesses who make every effort to store fireworks safely and sell them responsibly.”
Sellers must have a licence from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to store fireworks for sale between the legal selling dates, and if they are sold outside of normal periods a further license to sell is required.
Bangers were made illegal by the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997. Any retailer caught selling bangers may face six months imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000.
October 30 and November 1 as part of work to help reduce fires across the area.
Group Manager Chris Case, district manager for St Helens, said: "Our key message this year is stay safe and have fun. We want to drive down deliberate, anti-social, nuisance fires during the bonfire period but we need help from people in the community to do this.
"Firefighters are engaging with young people and youth groups in St Helens, delivering bonfire safety messages and water safety messages. The firefighters, along with members of our Service’s Prevention Team in St Helens, are also liaising with local shops and businesses to highlight the importance of refuse control and storage of wheelie bins."
MF&RS Community Fire Protection Arson Officer/Anti- social Behaviour (ASB) Advocate Kate Morris is pictured with firefighters from St Helens Community Fire Station and other partners. Photo supplied by St Helens Council.

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