YOUNGSTERS in Pendle are being warned about the dangers of fireworks in the countdown to November 5.

Police and fire officers are visiting schools across the borough warning 11-year-olds they could not only get burned by fireworks and sparklers, but could also fall foul of the law.

Edge End, Primet, Park, Walton, Mansfield, Fishermore, and West Craven High Schools are all being visited as part of Operation Fawkes, which aims to prevent firework nuisance, arson, and injury, ahead of Guy Fawkes night.

Youth Involvement Officer PC Dave Richards said: "We've had an excellent response from pupils. They've all asked lots of good questions about firework law, about penalties, and about how they can help to protect themselves, their families, and their pets, from injury at this time of year.

"They've also been amazed at the facts and figures we have about fireworks, including things like how hot even simple fireworks like sparkers can get, and just how much damage fireworks can do to people and property.

"Hopefully, the school visits, in tandem with increased police and fire service patrols and other activities, will go some way to prevent any major incidents of anti-social behaviour, or arson, and also prevent any serious injury to youngsters."

As well as visiting schools, police will be carrying out test purchases of fireworks, contacting suspected troublemakers and those previously investigated for fireworks offences, visiting churches, mosques, and community centres, and patrolling hotspots.

It is now illegal to let off fireworks in a public place, for under-18s to possess fireworks other than sparklers in public, for anyone other than a fireworks professional to possess public display fireworks, or to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am without a licence.

Anyone breaking the law could receive a penalty notice, acceptable behaviour contract, anti-social behaviour order, or face criminal charges.