Isle of Man Government
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Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Fireworks Safety Campaign 2013


  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm’s length, using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit
  • Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors

‘Before They Explode – Follow The Code’ is the key Fireworks Campaign message to young people and their parents this year from the Fireworks joint agencies group.

The group comprising the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and the Isle of Man Constabulary have collaborated on the Firework Safety Campaign for a number of years.

Fireworks Safety Campaign 2013

Pictured above: David Oldfield, OFT, Mark Caley, IOM Fire and Rescue Service, Mike Radcliffe, Isle of Man Constabulary.

The agencies particularly want to get the message out to the public that they should make sure they know what they are doing when handling fireworks – hence this year’s central message ‘Follow the Code’.

No-one under 18 can buy fireworks legally. Although UK national statistics are no longer collated, statistics for past years consistently show that over half those suffering injuries each year are under 18. Young people on the Island have fared better over the years but the agencies are determined that we should not become complacent.

The Office of Fair Trading is responsible for ensuring the safe storage of fireworks at retailers’ premises and the prevention of the sale of banned fireworks on the Island. The Fire Service lead the fireworks safety campaign and the Police deal with public nuisance behavior as well as working with the Office of Fair Trading to reinforce the message to retailers and young people that fireworks can only be sold to those over 18.

Chief Officer of the Office of Fair Trading, Mike Ball, said: "The Office of Fair Trading has worked successfully with the Police and the Fire Service for a number of years to ensure that problems with fireworks are kept to a minimum. OFT staff take their licensing responsibilities very seriously and are pleased to acknowledge the support of the other agencies. I hope that this year’s Fireworks Safety Campaign helps to ensure another safe bonfire night for all Island residents."

Schools are always keen to promote the safety message and the agencies support this through talks to young people and the supply of fireworks safety material. The Department of Education and Children Youth Service is also promoting the safety messages through its youth clubs.

During the period Friday 1 November 2013 until Sunday 10 November 2013 firework displays can be held without notifying the Department of Home Affairs but anyone planning a display outside of that period must notify the Department at least 21 days in advance of the display date.

Further Quotes

Station Officer Roger Brown from the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Team said “It is essential that people follow the Firework Code to ensure that they stay safe. Fireworks are explosives and burn at high temperatures, so they need careful handling and storage. Terrible injuries can be caused by carelessness – the Fire Service wants ‘Bonfire Night’ to be fun not fatal".

Mike Radcliffe, Crime Reduction Officer, Isle of Man Constabulary said “I am very pleased that the number of incidents over the “fireworks week” has reduced during the past few years. In general fireworks seem to be being used sensibly and it is not the intention of the Police to prevent people enjoying themselves. It is important to remember though that it is an offence for anyone to set off a firework in public causing annoyance, distress or harassment to other persons or domestic animals so anyone letting off fireworks should do so with care and consideration”.

John Peet, Chief Inspector of Trading Standards, Office of Fair Trading said “Fireworks bought over the internet can be a problem. Fireworks may not meet safety codes or can even be counterfeit. If you want to buy on the internet look for established brands carrying the British Standard (BS) 7114 mark (or on some fireworks (BS) EN 14035). Better still buy your fireworks locally from licensed shops which have been inspected by our Trading Standards staff”.


Further information on fireworks in the Isle of Man can be found at and

Material used in the Campaign can be found at:



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