Fake 'Black Cat' bangers a deadly threat in Huddersfield

BANNED fireworks are on sale in West Yorkshire.

BANNED fireworks are on sale in West Yorkshire.

And consumer chiefs have revealed they are being marketed under the label of the reputable Huddersfield-based firework company Black Cat.

They fear youngsters will snap up the potentially dangerous bangers believing them to be genuine.

Bangers
Bangers

Now the company and trading standards officers have urged: Do not buy these fireworks.

Bangers have been banned in the UK since 1997 but the counterfeit fireworks are thought to have been imported from China, via Ireland.

They are packaged as Black Cat Bangers, using the cat logo of the Crosland Hill-based firm.

The printed wrappers list a Burton on Trent address and Black Cat has links with a fireworks company in that town.

Now West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service are warning traders and members of the public to be on the lookout for the potentially harmful counterfeit bangers.

Due to their use in incidents of anti-social behaviour, bangers were banned outright in the UK in 1997.

A service spokesman said: “However, it now appears that unscrupulous suppliers are ignoring the ban and continuing to supply them.

“Furthermore they are being illegally counterfeited using the Black Cat firework brand which is likely to lead consumers into a false sense of security.”

The bangers are sold in packs of 10. They are generally described as being a small red tube with a short fuse on top.

Tests carried out at the Crosland Hill site revealed the bangers have been constructed from poor quality materials and would fail to meet safety standards.

When tested, the bangers were found to contain a type of flash powder that is more powerful, and louder, than normal.

Some of the bangers found were also unusual as the method to light some of them is different to the majority of legitimate fireworks sold in the UK, with a match-like strikeable fuse.

“The inadvertent or deliberate misuse of these bangers could result in serious hand injury”, said the spokesman.

“Due to their size and cheap cost, the bangers are particularly appealing to children and young people, who may be unaware of the serious dangers they pose.

“We are appealing to the public to assist in removing them from circulation.”

Traders were urged to source legitimate fireworks from reputable suppliers and not to buy from the back of a van, car boot sales or from dubious internet sites.

Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer at West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “These bangers pose a serious danger to members of the public and we are very concerned that they are still being supplied following the prohibition in 1997.

“ We would urge retailers not to supply them and for members of the public to report anyone they suspect of supplying them.

“Where we investigate examples of traders flouting the law, enforcement action will be taken.”

Clr Mohan Sokhal, of the council’s trading standards committee, said: “Public safety is paramount. We want the bonfire period to be a time for fun and celebration.

“These illegal fireworks are attractive to a minority of people who want to cause anti-social behaviour and we are seeking to remove them from the market place.”

 

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