Eighty Chinese firecrackers incercepted at Port of Felixstowe by Suffolk Trading Standards officers

Port of Felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe - Credit: Archant

Eighty Chinese firecrackers have been intercepted by Suffolk Trading Standards import surveillance officers at the Port of Felixstowe.

The interception has lead to officials warning consumers and shop keepers about the risk of fire and electric shock from Chinese electric firecrackers.

The firecrackers are 1.2 metres long and the electrical engineer who tested the product described them as very dangerous.

The “firecrackers”, which plug into the mains, are so poorly made that there is a significant risk that the user will touch live parts. There is also a risk that the products could cause a fire.

With Chinese New Year falling on Thursday, Trading Standards, along with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are also discouraging the use of sky lanterns and reminding residents of the safety of fireworks as part of this year’s celebrations.

Sky lanterns pose a significant risk to wildlife and property as they return to the ground.

There have been many examples involving livestock, birds and sea life getting injured as a result of these falling onto ground or into water.

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There is also evidence fires have been caused by lanterns falling onto thatched roofs and other flammable surfaces.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Suffolk Trading Standards and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service work hard throughout the year to ensure our residents are safe.

“This intervention by the imports surveillance team demonstrates the vital role played by Trading Standards officers in protecting people, across the UK, from unsafe products.

“We urge everyone to stay safe by following the firework code.

“Children enjoy sparklers but they are the cause of many injuries and children should always be supervised when using such products.

Sparklers should never be given to children under the age of five.

“There have been a number of significant incidents both nationally and locally involving sky lanterns including a potentially devastating incident at a Suffolk farm in 2011, and as such we strongly advise people to avoid using flying lanterns”

Businesses are also reminded that they can only supply fireworks three days before Chinese New Year and that if they sell fireworks to anyone under 18, they could face a maximum penalty of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.

Fireworks should not be used after 1am on Chinese New Year.

Anyone who has purchased the firecrackers or has seen them available for sale, is asked to contact Trading Standards on 03454 040506.

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