PEOPLE who have suffered from firework misery this year are in for some good news - 2004 could well be a lot quieter and safer.
But experts say things will only improve if tough new legislation comes into force and is properly policed.
The revelation comes just days after a 17-year-old boy suffered very serious hand injuries when a firework exploded at his home at Old Bank Road in Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, last Wednesday afternoon.
He has undergone surgery at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
John Woodhead, of Huddersfield, who is chairman of the British Fireworks Association (BFA) which represents manufacturers and importers, said moves were under way for further improvements following The Fireworks Act 2003.
He revealed that he would be meeting Government ministers responsible for Customs and Excise, health and safety, and community safety over the coming weeks to push for important changes in the way fireworks are imported.
The BFA wants a system put in place where imported fireworks must be taken to a licensed site - a factory which meets all the safety requirements - with a clear "paper trail" of documents accompanying them.
There should also be clear paperwork which traces the fireworks from the licensed site to licensed shops.
At the moment, imported fireworks are ending up in the hands of unscrupulous traders who sell them from the back of vans, at car boot sales or in pubs.
The BFA wants these tighter restrictions adding to the 2003 Fireworks Act.
Under the Act, noisy fireworks will be quieter and shops will be restricted to selling fireworks just three weeks before November 5 and three weeks before December 31.
Shops wanting to sell fireworks at other times will have to meet stringent conditions.
Mr Woodhead said: "A rocket powerful enough to blow a phone box apart sold this week in a pub in Leeds was handed to a member of the British Fireworks Association.
"This is exactly the kind of thing we are trying to stop and the only way is to tighten up how fireworks are imported into this country.
"The problems can be solved almost at a stroke if the regulations we want are put in place.
"No firework should leave a port unless it is going to a designated licensed site which complies with all the regulations and has the paperwork to prove it.
"All our members have sites licensed by the Health And Safety Executive and inspected by Trading Standards officials."
He added: "It seems there have been a lot more fireworks sold illegally this year from `entrepreneurs' who see it as an easy way to make money.
"They don't have the big overhead costs including insurance and storage which the licensed sites have.
"If the new regulations we want are implemented, the system to import fireworks will be foolproof.
"This means Bonfire Night in 2004 will be both quieter and safer."