Watching fireworks is good fun. But fireworks are explosives and burn at high temperatures, so they need careful handling and storage. Always follow the firework safety code.
The Firework Safety Code
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114. (these are available from reputable suppliers who are licensed by Trading Standards tel. 01604 707900.)
- Do not drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box, keeping matches and lighters separate.
- Follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch.
- Light at arm's length, using a taper.
- Stand well back.
- Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it has not gone off, the firework 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
- Keep a bucket of water, fire blanket or fire extinguisher available.
For more information on protecting animals from the effects of fireworks look on the RSPCA website
When Can I Use Fireworks?
The Firework Regulations 2004 prohibit anyone under 18 from possessing fireworks in a public place, and anyone except professionals from possessing display fireworks.
These regulations also prohibit the use of fireworks from 11.00 pm - 7.00 am in England and Wales , with extensions for the following festivals:
- First day of Chinese New Year until 1.00 am the following day
- On the day of Diwali until 1.00 am the following day
- On New year's Eve until 1.00 am on New Year's Day
- On 5th November until midnight
Fixed Penalty Notices
Throwing or setting off fireworks in the street is an offence under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875. This is enforced by the Police, and a fixed penalty notice of £80 applies.
The Police can also serve a fixed penalty notice of £80 to any person under 18 possessing a firework in a public place and for breach of the 11.00 pm curfew on use of fireworks. For more information contact your Safer Community Team at Northamptonshire Police - find your team on their website
Fireworks and Noise
Follow these guidelines to avoid causing a noise problem with your fireworks:
- Give neighbours and other residents in the surrounding area a few days notice of your display - particularly important if they are elderly, have children or pets.
- Use appropriate fireworks: try to avoid excessively loud ones. The supplier should be able to inform you how loud they are.
- Make sure pets and other animals are safely away from fireworks. You can buy a CD of firework noises to help get your pets used to it.
- If you are using fireworks for a celebration, a Friday or a Saturday is preferable and remember it is against the law to set fireworks off after 11.00 pm.
- Avoid setting off fireworks in still and/or misty weather - you could be contributing to poor air quality which has a negative effect on people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
Did you know?
- It is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you're under 18.
- It is against the law to throw or set off fireworks in the street.
- Fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18.
Last Updated: 31/10/2011