Fireworks safety advice

Fireworks safety advice

There are approximately one thousand injuries due to fireworks in Britain in every year (not including injuries due to bonfires). More children are injured than adults. The vast majority of accidents are at private firework events or in the street.

We encourage you to use fireworks safely, with consideration for others and in accordance with the law, so that festivities can be enjoyed by everyone. We recommend, in the interests of your and your children's health and safety, that you attend an organised public event rather than setting off your own fireworks.

The law and fireworks

  • It is against the law to possess 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
  • It is an offence to use fireworks between 11.00pm and 7.00am. Except for the following celebrations:
    • 5 November - to 12.00 midnight
    • Diwali - to 1.00am
    • New Year - to 1.00am on 1 January
    • Chinese New Year - to 1.00am the following day
  • This restriction applies to all places including gardens and private land
  • These requirements arise from the Firework Regulations 2004 and are enforced by the police
  • There is a penalty of up to £5000 or six months in prison
  • On the spot fines can also be issued for breach of the regulations

The Fireworks Code

Always follow the Fireworks Code

  • 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

Fireworks Health & Safety

  • If you are setting off fireworks you should ensure that Health and Safety is considered as part of your planning
  • Advice on firework safety is available from the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
  • If you need further advice contact your enforcing Authority either Environmental Health or the Health and Safety Executive are responsible for the licensing of premises selling and storing fireworks

For health and safety information regarding firework displays refer to Health and Safety Executive website

Animals and Fireworks

Guidance on Firework Night and animals 

Celebrating Bonfire Night

Guidance "Celebrating Bonfire Night"