It’s fireworks any second now, isn’t it? So it was great to get a call from Andy Dawes, from Halcon Stores in the village of the same name in Taunton. He and his wife Debs had recently had a visit from a new, young trading standards officer to check on their licence to sell fireworks and discuss how much could be displayed. It ain’t easy. There is a formula. You need to check your delivery note, apparently, to discover the notional explosive content of your stock and need to know how much display space you are allowed to give this stock in your cabinet.

The TSO and Debs tried to decide what was right and muddle through it together. The display was reduced to two of each product and the TSO came back and had a second look and thought it still looked a bit top-heavy. Then Andy decided to take the reins and check out the rules with his supplier who was very supportive and knowledgeable. (I find that fireworks suppliers are, providing they are bona fide.) Andy got the formula and discovered that they could legally show twice the amount they were currently displaying. He notified his trading standards office and, he says, they all seemed quite willing to learn: “You often hear about trading standards and problems with them but I just want to say that they couldn’t have been nicer.”

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