Journalist, Cherry Park

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Cherry Park is an experienced freelance journalist and reporter who specializes in features, news, and news analysis, in print and online. She has written extensively in the areas of health and safety, fire safety, employment, HR, recruitment, rewards, pay and benefits, market research, environment, and metallurgy, and she also conducts research.
October 11, 2013

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Warehouse Fined for Storing 7 Times Limit of Fireworks

A cash and carry warehouse in Leeds has been prosecuted for illegally storing large quantities of explosives, plus a string of other fire safety offences, in the runup to Bonfire Night on November 5th.

JTF Wholesale of Newark, Nottinghamshire, which describes itself as a no-frills warehouse selling the latest branded goods at rock-bottom prices direct to the public, was fined GB pound 19,000, plus GB pound 3,899 in costs, by Leeds Magistrates after it pleaded guilty to exposing members of the public and employees to serious risk of injury, contrary to the Manufacture and Storage of Explosive Regulations 2005.

The maximum amount of Hazard Type 4 explosives the firm was allowed to store under the Regulations is 250kg. JTF had been storing more than seven times this amount in its Leeds premises without taking any suitable safety precautions to prevent fire or explosion.

Dave Walton, assistant chief fire officer of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), which brought the prosecution, told the Nottingham Post:

With the firework season almost upon us, I hope this acts as a warning to those individuals who may consider illegally storing fireworks for a short-term financial gain.
It will also act as a stark reminder to those who have the correct registration and licence to store fireworks, to do so in a safe manner and within the law.
The vast amount of explosives stored at JTF meant that there was a significant likelihood of a serious incident which would have had the potential for serious injuries or loss of life to employees, members of the public or firefighters.

A visit to the firm’s premises in November 2012 by officers from West Yorkshire FRS sparked an investigation into the illegal storage, which culminated in prosecution for serious safety failings. West Yorkshire FRS also found that:

  • JTF did not have a safe system to store fireworks, contrary to regulations 11(8), 4(1) (a), and 5(1) of the Manufacture and Storage of Explosive Regulations 2005.
  • It had stored too many fireworks.
  • It had not taken appropriate measures to prevent fire or explosion.
  • It had failed to apply the appropriate separation distances in its firework storage area.

In addition, JTF breached Articles 15 1(a) and 9(1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 by failing to provide the relevant information to allow West Yorkshire FRS to prepare response procedures, as well as failing to carry out a suitable risk assessment to identify fire hazards.

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batye
batye
October 13, 2013 4:27 pm

in Canada we have the same problems as my Co. trying to cut corners but forgeting they risking  human lifes… in the game of greed…

holmesd
holmesd
October 14, 2013 4:10 am
Reply to  batye

I often worry about all the dodgy little shops that pop up at this time of year selling cheap fireworks, I would bet there are no fire suppression systems in place, accidents just waiting to happen……

gbrown
gbrown
October 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Reply to  holmesd

I agree with you entirely and only time will tell there are serious accident waiting to be seen

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff
October 15, 2013 12:12 pm
Reply to  holmesd

Couldn’t agree more. While not being able to judge, you inevitably worry that the pop up shops are at greater risk than a properly fitted store. And by only being up for say 4 weeks, fire authorities are unlikely to be able to inspect them before they disappear again.

ITs_Hazel
ITs_Hazel
October 19, 2013 5:54 am
Reply to  holmesd

You’re right, Holmes. This is extremely worrying. Not only are they risking their lives in the process, but also the lives of people around them and those who just happen to be in the area. I support more stringent crackdowns on similar cases.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff
October 22, 2013 11:46 am
Reply to  ITs_Hazel

There’s an easy solution here. Don’t buy fireworks. Why do you need them, really? Go to a professional display. It’s usually free (or at worst very cheap), it’s safe, and it’s 1,000 times better than the poxy rocket you’ll spend £50 on and put yourself and your family at danger with.

SunitaT
SunitaT
October 24, 2013 5:53 am

These are all very serious violations by JTF. Too many fireworks, no appropriate measures for the prevention of fire or explosion, and absence of safe storage method of fireworks are all condemnable violations but they are all inter-connected. One follows the other with absence of proper method for safe storage of fireworks being the mother of all these crimes.

SunitaT
SunitaT
October 24, 2013 5:53 am

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service should be applauded for this good and exemplary act which shows that they are awake to the public safety issues. I would say Magistrate did well as well by fining JTF handsomely to make it an example for other people who risk people’s lives for petty money.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff
October 28, 2013 10:29 am
Reply to  SunitaT

Pretty wild story, isn’t it? I wonder if the fire service were tipped off by the public, or if it was a spot check?

Guy Who Doesnt Care
Guy Who Doesnt Care
January 6, 2019 12:10 pm
Reply to  Rob Ratcliff

who cares