Businesses praised for challenging youngsters attempting to buy fireworks

100 per cent of Plymouth business visited in a test purchase operation for fireworks in the run up to bonfire night, passed.

All of the 12 premises that were visited challenged the 15 year old volunteer by asking for ID and refusing the sale.

Fireworks can be great fun for families but if not handled properly they can cause burn and eye injuries in children and adults.  The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display such as Plymouth Hoe.

Councillor Dave Downie, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities said: “This is excellent practice and something that unfortunately doesn’t always happen with other age restricted products such as alcohol, tobacco and sunbeds. All the premises visited displayed posters informing the public they needed to be 18 to buy fireworks. We are really pleased to find our retailers are acting responsibly and keeping these dangerous items out of the hands of minors.”

Trading Standards officers regularly run test purchasing operations using underage volunteers to check that premises are upholding the law and not selling age restricted items to underage residents.

All businesses that sell age restricted products must ensure they have adequate training in place for all staff. Trading Standards can provide businesses with a free interactive training package, No Proof of Age No Sale (NPOANS).  NPOANS aims to help them train their staff and to have in place clear systems to help prevent underage sales as well as protect them from possible prosecution.

It includes everything they need to comply with the law on age-restricted products including a training DVD, tests, refusals logs and posters. There is also an ‘Ask the Expert’ feature for any questions businesses may have.

The Council also run face to face training and coaching for businesses. For pricing information contact Trading Standards 01752 304147 or email