England

Safety warning on cheap fireworks in County Durham

Safety chiefs are warning people not to buy cheap fireworks despite the tough economic times.

A crackdown on the sale of illegal fireworks is running in County Durham with the launch of a hotline.

Last year, Durham County Council seized illegal bangers which when tested on a dummy showed they were capable of seriously injuring a hand.

It hopes it will tackle unregistered sellers, the supply of banned fireworks and illegal sales to children.

The council's trading standards department is running the line with the Safe Durham Partnership.

Flyers are being handed out asking people to identify anyone selling fireworks from houses, pubs, mobile shops and car boot sales.

Council head of environment, health and consumer protection, Joanne Waller, said: "With the recession the offer of cheap fireworks may be tempting but people must be very careful as they might not comply with strict safety standards and can be very dangerous."

The hotline number is 03000 260913.

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