FIREWORK traders are being warned to obey the law in the run up to Bonfire Night.

Police, firefighters and officials from West Yorkshire Trading Standards will be keeping a watch on rogue traders.

In a bid to keep the bonfire season as safe as possible, retailers in certain areas will come under the spotlight.

Target areas include places where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour involving fireworks or where shops have been known to flout the law on firework sales.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has reminded retailers that fireworks can only be sold to over 18s and that they should seek photo ID from anyone who looks under 21.

They urge traders to stock only fireworks marked: "Complies with BS 7114: Part 2: 1988" and not to buy from door-to-door sellers.

They shouldn’t buy unlabelled professional fireworks or split packs.

All firework retailers must also be registered with the Fire Service and checked for safe storage.

As well as enforcement, officials will visit schools to warn youngsters of the dangers of playing with fireworks.

Graham Hebblethwaite, West Yorkshire’s chief trading standards officer, said retailers had no excuse for breaking the law on fireworks and added: "We will have no hesitation in taking appropriate enforcement action on those retailers caught flouting the law and selling to minors.

"However, it is also key that we get these important safety messages out to young people."

Kirklees councillor Andrew Pinnock, a member of the Trading Standards Committee, said the education of young people was vital in cutting down anti-social behaviour.

He added: "The school visits aim to help students understand that fireworks can be fun but only if used at the right time in the right place.

"Save your fireworks until Bonfire Night and attend safe, organised events."

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief fire officer Craig McIntosh urged people to think safety first.

Anyone wishing to report shopkeepers they suspect of selling fireworks to children can ring the Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 in confidence.

FIREWORKS are safer now than they have ever been, claimed a Huddersfield expert.

Phil Murray’s comments came as thousands across Huddersfield prepared to celebrate a weekend of bonfires and firework displays.

Murray, the senior operations and technical manager at Standard Fireworks, the UK’s leading fireworks supplier, said that developments in firework technology and manufacturing mean that fireworks have never been safer or more exciting, provided they’re used responsibly.

He said: "The technological advances have ushered in a breathtaking array of new firework effects and product types, which are all available to buy for home displays.

"Gone are the days of setting off a couple of rockets on a dreary November night.

"Fireworks offer an incredible range of effects, from the loud retorts of big rockets to the vivid colours and sparkles of fountains and roman candles".

Significant advances in technology have also improved the safety of fireworks dramatically.

Murray said: "As well as the single ignition selection boxes, which offer improved safety and better customer value, the development and use of ‘visco’ fuses, instead of blue touch paper, means that the act of lighting a firework is much safer.

"The fuses are watertight and burn with a visible external flame, which makes it easy to determine whether the fuse is properly lit.

"Many people think of fireworks as dangerous but, just like a car, they’re actually really very safe if you use them sensibly."

Murray is in charge of manufacturing and engineering controls at Black Cat and Standard Fireworks’ factory in Crosland Hill, Huddersfield. He is also chairman of the British Fireworks Association, a position he has held since April 2012.

Fireworks are now on sale in the UK until November 13.