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Firework sales

Retailers must only sell fireworks that conform to British Safety Standards and meet certain noise conditions. They must have a valid 'CE' mark printed on the box and must only be supplied by an authorised retailer.

Unless a supplier has a special licence, suppliers must only sell fireworks during the weeks leading up to:

  • Bonfire Night
  • New Year's Eve
  • Diwali
  • Chinese New Year.

Fireworks and the law

Under the Fireworks Act 2003 (opens new window), it is an offence for anyone:

  • under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place
  • to set off fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

The only exemptions to the Act are:

  • on 5 November, you can set off fireworks until midnight, and
  • on New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year or Diwali, you can set off fireworks until 1am.

The police can enforcement the Fireworks Act and they have the power to issue penalty notices of £80.

Under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875 (opens new window), it's an offence to throw or set off fireworks in any highway, street, thoroughfare or public place. The power to enforce this section of the Act also rests with the police.

It is very unlikely that fireworks noise will ever be frequent enough from any particular premises to constitute a statutory nuisance. This means that we are unable to take enforcement action to control the noise made by fireworks.

For information on animal welfare and safety in relation to fireworks, please visit the following websites: