‘Have fun but stay safe’ is the message as folk gear up to celebrate Bonfire Night.
People are being urged to attend official fireworks displays where possible, while efforts to clear back alleys of rubbish have been stepped up in order to reduce the fire risk.
The moves, which also include ensuring fireworks shops are only making sales to people over 18, are part of the Bright Sparx campaign.
Coun Amy Cross, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for crime and community safety, said: “Bonfire Night is a great family celebration which we want everybody to enjoy and the official event at Blackpool Cricket Club will prove to be another excellent night.
“However, people will only enjoy the event if they are safe.
“It can still be a very enjoyable night for everybody as long as people act responsibly. But nobody should forget that fireworks are explosive substances, and one foolish move can have serious consequences to the community and individuals involved.”
Lancashire’s Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny said: “Our firefighters often witness the down-side to Bonfire Night, the fires and injuries that can easily result when celebration turns to tragedy because of carelessness or anti-social behaviour.
“Organised bonfires and firework displays are the most spectacular and enjoyable way to spend Bonfire Night in safety.”
Chief Inspector Laura Lawler of Blackpool Police’s Community Safety Partnership said; ““Given the potential for serious harm they can cause, do not buy unlicensed fireworks, and please report anywhere you are aware of that is selling unlicensed fireworks so that we can take the appropriate action against irresponsible retailers.
“Furthermore, we would advise you to attend one of the registered events in and around Blackpool this Bonfire Night.
“If you are going to set your own bonfire though, please make sure you do this in a clear area well away from wooded areas.
“The potential for fires to catch and spread quickly is very real, and, if we feel you have acted irresponsibly in setting a bonfire, we will take action against you.”
Alert over danger bangers
Illegal and dangerous fireworks may be on sale in the north west, a Trading Standards team has warned.
Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service are warning that bangers, sometimes boxed with the brand name “Tapirki”, have been found on sale in areas of Lancashire.
Bangers consist of a small tube, a few inches in length, filled with gunpowder with a short fuse on top. After bangers are lit, they are thrown on to the ground and, after a short pause, explode with a loud bang.
They were first banned for sale to the public in 1997 after concerns over their safety and use in anti-social behaviour.
The bangers found on sale are believed to be poorly constructed, often with short fuses, which could explode very quickly once lit causing injury to anyone holding them.
County Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member for Public Protection and Waste, said: “We don’t want to be killjoys but bangers were banned for very good reason.
“While bangers have so far not been found on sale in Lancashire over this bonfire period, I want to warn residents to be vigilant.
“Bangers are illegal to sell and could pose a serious danger. Members of the public should not buy or use such illegal fireworks.”
Anyone with information should call 08454 04 05 06.