Diwali and bonfire night are just round the corner - bringing with them amazing firework displays.

And although fireworks can be great entertainment, it's really important to remember to use them safely.

Many of your readers, I'm sure, will be lighting fireworks and sparklers and setting off firecrackers with family and friends - and the majority will have a wonderful time.

But accidents and injuries do happen and that's why I'm urging everyone to follow the Firework Code this autumn.

It is against the law for anyone under 18 to buy or possess fireworks in a public place and responsible retailers will ask for proof of age before selling them.

Make sure fireworks comply with British Standard 7114, which means they adhere to current firework safety regulations.

Remember to stand well back and never go back to a firework once it has been lit.

Sparklers are fun but they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000°C - 20 times the boiling point of water. Don't give them to children under five.

And make sure children playing with sparklers wear gloves and hold them at arm's length and away from their body.

Used sparklers can still be very hot, so put them hot-end-down in a bucket of water once they've gone out to stop anyone picking them up.

Fireworks can bring excitement and glamour to special celebrations and I'm sure they will be enjoyed by many this year.

But please remember to follow the Firework Code for a very safe and happy Diwali and bonfire night.


Consumer Affairs Minister