This snapshot, taken on
07/08/2007
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
 
 
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.

 

 

  • It is an offence to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am), except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am).

 

  • It is an offence under the Explosives Act 1875 to tamper with or modify fireworks

Firework Legislation

 

Watching fireworks is popular and fun. But fireworks are explosives and burn at high temperatures, so they need careful handling and storage.

 

That is why there are laws in place to govern the use and possession of fireworks, and how they are stored and sold.

 

New legislation has been introduced (see below) to help to make fireworks safer to use and to tackle their deliberate misuse. It affects how fireworks are imported, sold and used, and places restrictions on possession.

 

It means that fireworks will be safer, less noisy and can only be let off at certain times. It also means that those misusing them to either damage property or injure will be able to be dealt with by the relevant authorities.

 

Consumers, along with retailers, have new responsibilities. Fireworks will only be widely available during the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night and a few days before New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year. For the rest of the year, you will only be able to buy fireworks from shops that are licensed to supply them.

 

Penalties

 

It is an offence under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875 to throw or set off fireworks in any highway, street, thoroughfare or public place. The power to enforce this section of the Act rests with the police. Anyone found guilty is liable to pay a fine of up to 5,000. Penalty notices for disorder (on-the-spot fines) can also be issued for this offence, attracting the upper tier fine of 80.

 

In Regulations made under the Fireworks Act 2003, it is also an offence for the under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place and for anyone to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am). As from 11 October 2004, police also have the power to issue penalty notices for disorder for these offences. Again, the offence attracts the upper tier fine of 80.

 

Under section 1 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animals. The penalty on conviction is a fine of up to 5,000 or up to six months imprisonment, or both. Enforcement of this section of the Act rests with Trading Standards, the Police or the RSPCA as appropriate.

 

 

Legislation and retailers

 

How the changes in the law affect retailers is described in more detail in their section of this site.

 

 

 

 

Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.

Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.

Keep fireworks in a closed box. 

Follow the instructions on each firework.

Light at arm's length, using a taper.

Stand well back.

Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.

Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.

Always supervise children around fireworks.

Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.

Never give sparklers to a child under five.

Keep pets indoors.