Strict safety checks on Glasgow shops keen to sell fireworks are underway ahead of Bonfire Night.
The city's Trading Standards team are vetting retailers who are applying for licences to store pyrotechnics.
Shops are inspected ahead of time to ensure fireworks, which are essentially explosives, can be stored safely and securely. If applicants are granted a licence, random undercover test purchases involving young people, may also be carried out to ensure stores are not illegally selling fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
Officers from the council team issue licences to retailers who pass stringent safety checks. Applicants range from large supermarkets to small independent retailers. Businesses that can't provide safe storage facilities will have their applications refused and licences can be revoked if they're later found to be storing fireworks unsafely, storing more than their licence permits, selling to anyone under the age of 18, or contravening other relevant legislation. In 2021, 66 licences were granted.
In March this year, a Glasgow shopkeeper was prosecuted after Trading Standards officers discovered highly flammable fireworks stored in a ceiling void in a shop below tenement flats. The shopkeeper was not licensed to store fireworks after having their licence revoked the previous year and was fined more than £1500 when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow's Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, said: "These stringent safety checks are extremely important and help protect the public. This year's court case highlights the danger to life when fireworks are not stored correctly. Our Trading Standards team's vigilance helped prevent a potential disaster when they found fireworks concealed in a roof void below homes."
Next year, new legislation giving councils more powers around the sale and use of fireworks is due to come into force. It includes the powers to create designated Firework Control Zones where the use of fireworks would be banned - even on private land. These measures are designed to help tackle dangerous misuse of fireworks, like that previously seen in areas like Pollokshields.
Cllr Kelly said: "Fireworks are a very divisive subject - some people enjoy them, but others dread the run up to November 5th. Animals, older people and young children can be frightened by the noise and reckless misuse of fireworks can obviously lead to serious injuries and damage to property.
"We look forward to the new legislation coming into force which will give councils more powers to tackle problematic use of fireworks. Ahead of that, the council is working with partners including Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue to do everything within our power to ensure businesses play their part in making Bonfire Night a safe and enjoyable occasion."
Anyone with concerns about a Glasgow store selling fireworks can email the council's Trading Standards team with details on firstname.lastname@example.org