Devon and Cornwall Police want everyone to have a fun Bonfire Night but warn they will take action against anyone who breaks the law.
In the run up to and on 5 November officers will be out on patrol enforcing regulations about the use and possession of fireworks.
Officers can stop and search anyone they suspect may have prohibited fireworks and issue fines or fixed penalty notices to people who throw fireworks in the street.
Shopkeepers who sell fireworks to under 18s and anyone who uses or possesses them illegally could find themselves facing a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence.
It is illegal to:• Sell fireworks without a licence.
• Sell adult fireworks to people under age – that means any firework other than caps, cracker snaps and indoor fireworks.
• Possess adult fireworks in any public place if you are under 18.
• Set off or throw fireworks in the street.
• Launch fireworks anytime between 11pm and 7am, except during certain celebrations, and at national and local authority displays. On Bonfire Night itself fireworks can be set off until midnight.
Neighbourhood policing Inspector Paul Morgan said: “Bonfire Night is no excuse for crime and antisocial behaviour. We want everyone to have an enjoyable fireworks night but remember that fireworks are dangerous and need to be handled properly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
“Fireworks are explosives and burn at high temperatures, so they need careful handling and storage. In particular, sparklers can reach temperatures more than five times hotter than cooking oil.
“By far the safest way to enjoy these seasonal activities is to attend a professionally organised event. Let fireworks night be remembered for the right reasons.”
If you are holding your own fireworks party, you can minimise harm to your family and friends by following police advice:
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Never throw used fireworks, paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
• Make sure bonfires are out and surroundings are safe before leaving.
• Misfired or partly used fireworks should be soaked in a container of water and the manufacturer should be contacted for advice on disposal.
• Keep pets indoors as most animals are scared by the bright lights and noise.
For more information on firework safety please visit www.devon-cornwall.police.uk