Fireworks will go on sale today ahead of bonfire night on November 5.

But with organised displays in East Lancashire, such as the annual event at Witton Park in Blackburn cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the fire service are concerned about DIY displays in gardens, and the potential for fires to start and spread.

There's also concern about the potential for breaking lockdown restrictions as people resort to having bonfire displays at home, with the temptation to mix with other households remaining prevalent. 

Fire service bosses are asking residents therefore to ensure they buy suitable products meant for garden use, check the sizes and categories before making a purchase, and stick to the guidance set out by the government in terms of local lockdown rules.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "There are lots of different types of fireworks and you should check that the different sizes are suitable for the size of your garden.

"Category two and three are only for sale for the public for outdoor use.

"They can be purchased from reputable retailers (who will have a licence for trade) but must carry the CE mark which is the safety standard that all fireworks should meet.

"Fireworks cannot be sold to under 18s and there are strict laws and fines in place both for the retailer and those in possession of fireworks.   

"It is also important to ensure they are stored safely between now and Bonfire Night, which means out of reach of children and young people, secure, where they cannot get damp and also away from other sources of ignition and combustibles."

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

While the fire service understands that people will be looking for alternative ways to celebrate this year they are urging people to stay safe, and remember that fireworks are explosives.

The spokesperson added: "We are currently in the middle of a global pandemic and we are asking people not to take risks, putting additional pressures on our emergency services. 

"Injuries can be prevented by following the Firework code."

The Firework Code:-

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm (or midnight on Bonfire Night)
  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Place on a stable surface, light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking in a bucket of water for several hours, bag it and bin in your usual black bin once completely cool
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Do not burn household rubbish or white goods on a bonfire. Keep your bonfire within a cordon area away from fireworks, people, property and trees and never light using flammable liquid. Check for animals hiding before lighting
  • Keep pets indoors and ensure children are safe and a good distance away from the fireworks
  • Pour water on bonfire embers to ensure it is fully extinguished before leaving or going to bed
  • If using sparklers ensure they are held in a gloved hand at arm’s length and there is a bucket of water to put them in once the sparkler is out

Service personnel are also urging people to consider the impact of fireworks on pets and other animals.

The spokesperson continued: "Another reason to consider not having a home display is that fireworks can frighten people and cause a great deal of distress to animals.

"The elderly and children are frequently scared and intimidated by firework noise, so tell your neighbours if you’re a planning on letting off fireworks and avoid purchasing really noisy ones.

"In a recent survey, 62 percent of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54 percent of cat owners experiencing the same.

"Please be considerate."