A Chesterfield shopkeeper who launched a poster campaign against selling fireworks to anyone under the age of 21 has seen his initiative adopted by his local Somerfield supermarket.

Terry Caton, who runs two Londis stores in the town, introduced the posters last year after enduring a series of firework-related incidents. In 2003, a telephone box was damaged after teenagers lit fireworks inside it, and on another occasion a fellow retailer had his front window blown out.

Terry is also only selling fireworks in his stores from October 27 through to November 7, despite it being legal to sell them from October 15 to November 10 without a new-style all-year licence.

Terry told C-Store: “I believe I have an obligation to the local community. I have nothing against fireworks being used by responsible adults, but if we can stop those who are ruining it for everyone else from getting hold of fireworks, then it’s worth it.” Terry said local residents were glad someone was doing something to tackle the problems they have suffered.

He added: “I feel the poster campaign will reduce the dangers and hope other retailers also decide to sell only to over-21s. The local newsagent is on board and my local Booker depot is making the posters available for other retailers to use.” Fireworks supplier Standard Fireworks is issuing advice to retailers to ensure they stay on the right side of the law.

Legislation which came into effect in January 2005 means there is a change in the rules on how fireworks must be stocked and sold. In the past the number of fireworks a retailer was allowed to hold was measured by the weight of the firework, whereas now it is measured by the weight of the explosive content (NEC).

The new weight stands at 250kg NEC. Retailers must also ban smoking in stores and keep all hazardous or flammable material away from fireworks. .

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