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May Contain Nuts

Fireworks to be labelled – ‘May contain Nuts’.

The world has officially gone quite mad when it comes to allergies and foods but when they start introducing the necessity to mark everything which comes into the UK with ‘May contain nuts’ because someone may have munched a snickers at lunchtime, you really have to question how far we are prepared to let this go.

The vast majority of firework production takes place in China where over the last couple of years, the government have stepped in to improve working conditions and in particular safety measures. Contrary to popular belief, the firework factories are not full of children in rags taking home pennies to feed their families, it is big business which is intrinsic to the economy. Over 98% of the USA and UK fireworks are from Liuyang along with 80% of all international display shells are made and shipped out of China. There are over 900 factories sending over 11,000 containers annually costing over $430 million so the recent decision to implement the new warning labels is likely to cost thousands.

Some years ago, whilst doing my weekly shop at one of the ‘budget’ supermarkets, I came across a bag of peanuts which had clearly printed on it ‘May Contain Nuts’. Really?!! Well the nuts were sort of the point of the purchase so is it really necessary to offer such a cautionary word of warning to the imbecile who would readily buy a bag of nuts if they have such an aversion to said salty snack?

Initially the rationale for the establishment of a Health and Safety department was to reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries/death by enforcing minimum legal standards. Unfortunately, it is as yet not possible to legislate for crass stupidity. In years gone by, the average human (not wishing to appear sexist) was trusted to use their brain to assess danger in whatever situation arises. Perhaps it is more to do with this generation being under the impression that if you shoot someone they will get straight back up or if you have a crash in your Lamborghini you just lean forward and press reset and you are back up and running again.

The latest decision to introduce labelling on fireworks highlighting ‘may contain nuts’ is an international decision. It beats having to let people know that they most certainly do contain explosives and perhaps, with allergies having cost the UK £68 million per annum and firework injuries on the decline, they may be better served looking to address this issue instead.

REACTION FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Mr Bruce Zolden – CEO of Phantom Fireworks – “I really really think this is NUTS. Excessive use of warning labels about the possible presence of allergens can restrict consumer choice and devalue the impact of warning labels”

Jimmy Singh – Managing Director of Jimmy’s Fireworks – “I can’t believe this…Big problems ahead for the fireworks industry…..first CE marking and now we have to test for banned substances like NUTS……”

Tommy Glasgow from TNT fireworks – “Until there is a consistent and reliable approach to allergy warnings, consumers – particularly those in high risk groups – need to be aware of the potential risks they face by not only ignoring notices but also failing to read the firework warning label. We hope that by raising awareness, we can help local families to look out for their children’s safety”

Mr David DeSafey from Pyro-Talk -

Q: What do you call nuts on a wall?
A: Wallnuts

Q: What do you call nuts on your chest?
A: Chest nuts ETC….

Happy April Fools Day :)

Old Skool Fireworks

Being ideally positioned just off the M1, in the middle of the UK makes our showroom the ideal spot to meet up. It is no surprise therefore that avid firework collectors come over to see us regularly. They meet up to exchange goods, chat about recent ‘acquisitions’ and of course to establish what else they are looking to find and add to their collections.

Fireworks have been around in the UK for literally hundreds of years but they were widely popularised in the mid 18th century as a result of a London-based company, Brocks Fireworks, the company responsible for an annual fireworks display from 1865-1936 covering a period of more than 70 years. The company was so popular in years gone by that they even appeared on a Pathe Newsreel detailing how they made lancework and Catherine wheels.

Collectors of history and ephemera spend an absolute fortune on their collections and are pretty much aware of what other avid collectors of pyro paraphernalia have in their collection and are in the process of adding.

One such collector is Maurice Evans, a man who is well into his eighties now and yet his fascination with fireworks shows no sign of dwindling. He has like so many loved fireworks man and boy and as a little lad, he used to be the one with his face stuck to the window of the local fireworks retailer on the run up to Bonfire Night.

Today, he has some real treasures, all fine examples of fireworks from years gone by. He is proudest of his exploding ‘firework fruits’ with a price tag of 2s and 6d (30p to those among us who can vaguely remember buying a Mars bar on changeover day and was gutted that it cost all of my shiny 2p coin) and more worryingly some WWII shells and mortars.

He said during a recent interview for a magazine article confirmed that the majority of the fireworks are either dummies or have had their gunpowder removed. However, it wouldn’t be possible to do this with Catherine wheels and bangers without damaging them. I would add that this is an accepted practice amongst firework collectors.

Collectors, whether the passion be for stamps, coins or fireworks as in this instance are a new breed altogether. Fireworks are brightly coloured, with a unique smell and are very tactile which of course adds to the fascination.

If you do have some fireworks hidden away that you would like to share pictures of, if you could let us have a few shots we will put them onto our Facebook and web pages.

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Epic Fireworks on Pinterest

Here at Epic Fireworks we love nothing more than our social media sites and whilst we have a number of followers for both our YouTube and Facebook channel, we still have lots more to share with you on Pinterest.

Pinterest started in 2009 as a photo-sharing site where you can upload, save and sort images. With over millions of ‘pins’ there are pictures of everything from our firework labels, customer’s firework stash pictures to images of fireworks from years gone by which still hold a special place in our hearts.

Visit Epic Fireworks’s profile on Pinterest.

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