Dangerous Chinese New Year decorations stopped at port

Firecracker2Suffolk Trading Standards’ import surveillance officers are warning consumers and shop keepers about the risk of fire and electric shock from Chinese electric firecrackers.

80 sets of the 1.2 metre electric Firecrackers, being imported via the Port of Felixstowe, were recently intercepted by officers.  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.  The electrical engineer who tested the product described these as very dangerous.

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

With Chinese New Year falling on Thursday 19th February, Suffolk Fire and Rescue and Trading Standards 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. There is also evidence that fires have been caused by lanterns falling onto thatched roofs and other flammable surfaces.

Fireworks are also a popular way to celebrate the Chinese New Year and accidents can easily happen if they are not used appropriately.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said:

“Suffolk Trading Standards and Suffolk Fire and Rescue work hard throughout the year to ensure our residents are safe.”

“Suffolk Trading Standards take product safety extremely seriously.  This very effective intervention by the imports surveillance team demonstrate the vital role played by Trading Standards officers in protecting consumers, across the UK, from unsafe products.

“We urge people 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 sprinklers – they 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 reminded that they can only supply fireworks three days before Chinese New Year and that if they sell fireworks to anyone under 18 years of age they could face a maximum penalty of £5000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.

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

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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