OFFICIALS are asking people to use fireworks safely when celebrating on New Year’s Eve.

Test Valley Borough Council together with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) are promoting how to safely use fireworks as the celebration period approaches.

HFRS are encouraging people to store fireworks in a closed box and take them out one at a time as well as keep a bucket of water nearby and to light them at an arm’s length away.

The service have also explained that residents should never go back to a lit firework even if it hasn’t gone off and to keep pets inside at all time.

Those responsible for setting off the fireworks are being encouraged to not drink alcohol before doing so.

The council are also reminding locals of the laws around fireworks.

The law says people must not set off or throw fireworks -including sparklers- in the street or other public places.

Normally, residents must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am but the cut off point for fireworks on New Year’s Eve is 1am.

At this time of year, fireworks are available for purchase between December 26-31.

At other times they can only be bought from licensed shops. People can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. They could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.