Children as young as 13 are buying and selling illegal bangers at school that can kill or seriously maim, West Yorkshire Trading Standards says.

Officers are desperately trying to get the counterfeit bangers off the street before someone gets seriously injured. They have received reports that the fireworks are being set off in parks.

Dave Lodge, principal officer at Trading Standards, said that the market for the bangers was exclusively children because they were so cheap – selling at £1 for a pack of ten.

There have been instances where police have been contacted by concerned parents and their investigations show they are being sold at schools, he said.

“That is the market for them, exclusively children, and the bangers are coming from all round the county.”

He said that it was the first time he had come across counterfeit fireworks being brought into the UK.

“Unfortunately, the counterfeiters are using a reputable brand name, Black Cat, for the bangers when in fact that company works very closely with us,” he said.

“This is almost unprecedented – I have never known any other fireworks being counterfeited.

“Generally speaking, there is no manufacturer of legal fireworks in the UK and hasn’t been for a number of years.”

A demonstration of a counterfeit banger, performed by Mr Lodge for the Telegraph & Argus, reveals how dangerous one could be. The small firework, which was handed in by a school, explodes with tremendous force. Pieces of its case are sent flying in all directions and scorch marks are visible on the metal surface where it was placed.

Mr Lodge said it was easy to see how the bangers, which were not manufactured to exacting standards, could cause very serious injury if they did not operate as intended.

Fireworks are usually imported from China and Mr Lovell fears that this is where the untested and potentially deadly bangers are originating from.

“Police officers are bringing them into us in bags after seizing them from 13- year-olds, so someone must have brought them over in decent quantities,” he said.

“The problem with the ones we have tested is the fact they are so loud and they are so cheap, hence they appeal to children.”

He said that police had told him that the bangers were being thrown in the street.

They were historically banned because of anti-social behaviour concerns, he added.

Mr Lodge said that he was not aware of any reports where the bangers were being thrown in Bradford specifically.

The bangers are in a small red tube with a short fuse on top and contain a type of flash powder.

Anyone who suspects someone of selling illegal or counterfeit fireworks should call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.