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Q625: What are the rules relating to fireworks?

It is an offence to:

  • possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except category 1 fireworks - party poppers, sparklers, throwdowns etc) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18;
  • possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional;
  • it is illegal to supply adult fireworks to those under 18;
  • throw or cast or fire any firework in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space (this would include throwing or firing from a private place into a public place, street, highway etc);
  • to light any fire or discharge any firearm or firework (without lawful authority or excuse) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway, and as a consequence the highway is damaged.

There is a curfew on the use of adult fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on:

  • Bonfire Night (when the curfew is between 12 midnight and 7am);
  • New Years Eve (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am);
  • Chinese New Year (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am);
  • Diwali Night (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am).

The penalties for using fireworks outside the above curfew hours are imprisonment (maximum 6 months) and a substantial fine. Please note, you could also commit offences if they were being used to cause a nuisance.

Please see websites in related information for details from the Health and Safety Executive on how to safely use fireworks and organise a fireworks display.

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