Firework Laws and Regulations

firework laws

As winter is swiftly approaching, Bonfire Night is just around the corner. We thought we’d tell you all about the regulations around fireworks and firework displays. Not only can this blog help you to understand the law, but help keep you safe too.


Who can buy fireworks?

Firstly, it depends on the type of fireworks. Normal fireworks (Categories 2 and 3) can only be bought by people aged 18 or over, and this includes sparklers. Category 4 fireworks are for professional use only. There’s a common misconception that a special licence or trading is needed to buy professional fireworks, but Category 4s can only be bought by professional firework companies with year-round insurance and licensed storage.

Fireworks can also be bought at any time of the year.


How can you store fireworks?

If you’re buying selection boxes and sparklers from a supermarket, small quantities of fireworks, or are buying your fireworks a day or two before you let them off, you don’t normally need to worry about storage laws as they would not apply. It’s only when you’re storing large quantities you need to be aware of the law.


Can you transport fireworks?

As fireworks are classed as explosives, they cannot be sent through the post, or a courier. They’re also prohibited on airlines, ferries and trains, so the rule of thumb is not to transport them except between buying and when you’re letting them off.


Can you sell unused fireworks?

The short answer is no, unless you hold a valid license. There are two licenses – one that covers the period between Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve, and one that covers the entire year.


When can I set off fireworks?

It’s another common misconception that you can only set off fireworks around Bonfire Night and NYE. Actually, you can set off fireworks all year round – on any day of the week, even Sundays. However, you must let them off before 11pm. It’s expected that you tell your neighbours in case of issues with pets and children.

The exceptions to the 11pm rules are as follows:

  • Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes – you can let fireworks off until midnight.
  • New Year’s Eve – you can let fireworks off until 1am.
  • Diwali – you can let fireworks off until 1am.
  • Chinese New Year – you can let fireworks off until 1am.


Where can I set off fireworks?

It’s illegal to let off fireworks in the street or a public place such as a park. The rule is you should only let off fireworks on private land, such as your garden, or on land where you have the owner’s permission. By that logic, it’s also illegal to let fireworks off on a beach, not to mention that the fireworks could be mistaken for distress flares.

All of us here at We Talk Law wish you a very happy Bonfire Night! Do remember to be safe, always be aware of your surroundings, and leave a large amount of space between you and any fireworks at all times.