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Bonfires


Answer

If possible, in the first instance, we would suggest that efforts are made to speak with the children/parents of the children involved as it may be that they do not realise what is happening or that their actions are illegal. If this is not possible, then this behaviour can be reported to the police because it is an offence for anyone to throw, cast, fire or set fire to a firework in the highway, street, thoroughfare, or public place unless it is as part of an organised event by licensed professionals.

Additionally, it is an offence for a person under 18 to possess what is known as an adult firework; these are fireworks that fall into categories F2, F3 or F4.

Category F2 fireworks are fireworks which present a low hazard and low noise level and which are intended for outdoor use in confined areas.

Category F3 fireworks are fireworks which present a medium hazard, which are intended for outdoor use in large open areas and whose noise level is not harmful to human health.

Category F4 fireworks are fireworks which present a high hazard, which are intended for use only by persons with a specialist knowledge and whose noise level is not harmful to human health.


Answer

Lighting a bonfire can be illegal if a person lights a fire, or directs/permits such a fire, on land and the fire/smoke injures, interrupts or endangers users of a highway/carriageway.

Otherwise, the smoke created by the fire can be a statutory nuisance, and the Environmental Health department of your local authority will be able to take action if the smoke is classed as a statutory nuisance. You need to record the details of who is lighting the fires, at what times, what the effects were and your details.

The council can stop the person from committing a statutory nuisance and failure to comply can lead to prosecution. However, if the fires are irregular it is unlikely that the local authority will take any action.

For more information please see the link to the Citizens Advice Bureau website in Related Information along with a link to find your local authority.


Answer

Dogs have better hearing than humans do and for them fireworks are extremely loud and scary.

Keep the animal indoors, close the windows and have the TV on or music playing to muffle the sound of the fireworks.

There are some products that vets may be able to offer to help keep your dog calm.

If at all possible try and make sure someone is at home with the animal as it will be comforting to have a familiar face around.

Dogs can also benefit from having a safe space in the house where they can hide. A crate covered with a blanket for example can help with settling a nervous dog.


Answer

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 11 pm and 7 am, except on:

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

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.

Contact your local police force

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