Whilst you will want to enjoy using fireworks, doing so within the laws and regulations set out is vital. Fireworks and sparklers can be very dangerous, so the safe use of them is a minimum requirement. Some of the rules relating to firework use you may already be aware of, but it is always recommended to review these before looking to purchase and use them. Here are some of the main rules and laws you need to know.
You must be over 18 to purchase
No-one under the age of 18 years old can legally purchase fireworks, so you may need to present ID to prove your age. Fireworks are split into different categories to determine their use, with adult fireworks rated as category 2 and 3 which cover garden and display use. Anything under category 1 is for indoor use such as party poppers, and category 4 are classed as professional fireworks.
They must comply with BS7114
If you are planning your own event, you’ll need to ensure you purchase regulated fireworks. When choosing fireworks for sale in the UK, you should check they carry the BS7114 mark. This confirms they have been tested and meet the requirements for sale, ensuring they are safe to use. It is important to only use reputable sellers of fireworks for this reason, so always check they are marked with the British standard.
It’s illegal to use fireworks at certain times
If you have purchased fireworks, you cannot set these off between the hours of 11pm and 7am. It is illegal to do so, however, there are certain dates of the year this is extended. On Bonfire Night, which is one of the most popular days for firework use, this is extended to midnight, and on New Year’s Eve until 1am. Those who celebrate Diwali and Chinese New Year also have a cut off time of 1am on those dates.
You can only purchase fireworks on certain dates of the year
Whilst you can purchase fireworks from licensed shops during the year, it’s illegal to purchase them from registered sellers at certain times of year. This applies to both fireworks and sparklers if you are looking to purchase for private use. You can only purchase between two periods:
- 15 October and 10 November
- 26 December to 31 December
If you are buying for Chinese New Year or Diwali, you can only purchase up to 3 days before. Those who are selling or purchasing fireworks and sparklers outside of these dates illegally can face fines and imprisonment.
You can only set fireworks off on your private property
It is illegal to set off any fireworks you have purchased in the street or in a public place. You must only use them in your garden. You will also need to be careful about where your fireworks are aimed. If they are set off from your garden into the street, a public road or space, this is also an offence. It is only licensed professionals that can use and set of firework in public places.
By keeping the above rules and laws in consideration when looking to buy and use fireworks, you can stay on the right side of the law and enjoy your celebrations.
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