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As the Diwali and Bonfire season approaches Tyne and Wear businesses are reminded that they need a licence thrill to sell and store fireworks
written by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue on the 25th September 2017 at 15:55

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is reminding all businesses who plan to sell and store fireworks for Diwali and/or Bonfire Night that they need an up to date explosives licence enabling them to safely store fireworks. TWFRS, Area Manager Keith Carruthers, commented: “Not having a valid licence to store fireworks is a criminal offence and can lead to a unlimited fine, two years imprisonment or both. However the process is very simple. Businesses just need to request an inspection through our website, which will be arranged within 28 days.” TWFRS Fire Safety Inspectors will be carrying out inspections of premises throughout the area to ensure that fireworks are stored legally and safely in accordance with the Explosives Regulations 2014. Where this isn't the case, prosecution will be considered to ensure the safety of the public. In recent years, TWFRS has seen a number of incidents where Tyne and Wear business owners have received cautions, prison terms and fines - all because they didn't have a valid licence or were storing fireworks unsafely. An unlicensed shop owner in the West End of Newcastle received a caution for illegally storing fireworks An unlicensed shop in Newcastle was visited by Fire Safety Inspectors, who discovered a significant quantity of fireworks that were not stored safely in their transit packaging and were mixed with other fireworks. There was limited availability to fire extinguishers, which significantly increased the risk should there be a fire. The owner received a sixteen week prison term, suspended for twelve months and ordered to pay costs of £500 plus £80 victim surcharge. We received intelligence that a person was storing and selling fireworks without a licence and from their home. They were selling to members of the public, including children via Facebook. We identified a significant quantity of fireworks illegally stored in a bedroom - putting him, his family and neighbours at enormous risk. The fireworks were immediately seized and destroyed. Keith, concluded: "Diwali is less than a month away - on October 19th - therefore it's imperative that businesses get their inspection requests into us as soon as possible. Businesses can't take risks with lives and their own livelihoods by storing and selling fireworks both illegally and dangerously. And we're here to help them with the advice they need to pass the necessary inspections.” All new applications or renewals for a licence to store fireworks are granted by the Licensing Authority (TWFRA). Once the premises have been subject to a satisfactory inspection by a TWFRS Fire Safety Officer - usually within 28 days from request - an application form will then be given to the applicant so they can apply for a licence. TWFRS has produced a video to explain the application process to businesses: For more information please go to:
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