Trade written question – answered on 19 October 1981.

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Mr. Gwilym Roberts asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps he is taking during the period in and around 5 November to inform the public generally of the dangers associated with the use of fireworks; if he will give details in the Official Report of any publicity campaign; what steps he is taking to involve education authorities in such a campaign; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim: On 7 October I launched, for the third year, an extensive firework safety campaign to publicise the hazards of fireworks if used carelessly or misused.

Publicity material available from my Department includes a revised leaflet containing guidance to firework display organisers and a leaflet for registered retailers of fireworks. This year a poster for display in shops has been re-introduced. Television filler films and new radio tapes have been distributed.

I have also had particularly in mind the importance of getting young people to understand the dangers. For this purpose we have for the third year been able to enlist the 37 services of a well-known personality who knows how to put the message over to them, a young comedian who is also featured in one of our posters.

Earlier this year a poster competition based on the firework code was organised by a national newspaper. The publicity material has been sent to all schools, local authorities, youth organisations, fire brigades, police and national and local press.

The Firework Makers Guild and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have worked closely with my Department in this campaign and their material is also receiving a wide distribution.

Mr. Gwilym Roberts asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will take steps to obtain and publish in the Official Report the number of large public firework displays for each of the years 1976 to 1980 and the ratios, number of displays to number of accidents and the total number attending displays to number of accidents for each of these years.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim: So far as I am aware no records are available that would provide the information that the hon. Member has asked for.