Firework Safety

Fireworks are pretty to look at but they are explosives and are therefore very dangerous.

Please follow our firework safety advice to reduce your risk of injury when using them.

Staying safe around fireworks

Firework incidents often occur around Bonfire Night. However, we also attend incidents throughout the year where people have been celebrating birthdays and religious festivals.

Buying fireworks – a guide

If you want to buy your own fireworks, here is some advice you should follow:

  1. Do not attempt to buy fireworks if you’re under the age of 18.

  2. Check they feature a CE mark before purchasing any.

  3. Think about price – if they seem too good to be true, they probably are.

  4. Check the law and ensure you understand what your responsibilities are.

  5. Tell your neighbours when you’re planning to set them off.

Taking the time to alert your neighbours can help them keep their animals calm and happy. Some people are also scared of loud noises and benefit from being told in advance. Don’t set any off between 7am and 11pm, apart from certain special occasions (see below).

Lighting fireworks safely

Once you’ve bought your fireworks, please follow our advice to reduce the risk of accident or injury.

  1. Use the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide.

  2. Use a taper to light the firework so you don’t burn yourself.

  3. Never return to a lit firework – it might explode.

  4. Don’t throw fireworks or keep them in your pocket.

  5. Keep pets indoors and supervise children around fireworks.

It’s vital that you follow the instructions carefully and only use fireworks as intended by the manufacturer. Remember: it’s much safer to attend a formal event rather than purchase and light fireworks yourself.

Fireworks and UK law

It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in public places. It is also an offence for anyone – apart from firework professionals – to possess professional display fireworks.

Police in the UK can issue fixed penalty notices to those under the age of 18 caught with fireworks in a public place.

It is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, apart from certain occasions:

  • On Bonfire Night (Nov 5), displays can continue until 12am.

  • On certain other occasions (incl. New Year’s Eve, Diwali, and Chinese New Year), fireworks can be set off until 1am.

police officer

Disposing of fireworks

After you’ve set off your display, it’s really important to dispose of fireworks in a safe manner. Any that you leave hot or alight can start an accidental fire.

Check the weather forecast

Remember to check the weather forecast before you start your display. High winds or inclement weather can make it unsafe to set off fireworks.

On Bonfire Night

Every year, we respond to a high number of incidents on Bonfire Night. Many of these involve injuries from fireworks.

We always recommend attending an organised event rather than buying your own fireworks. This is safer and more enjoyable for everyone. If you must have your own firework display, please follow our advice so you don’t place yourself in danger.

Please visit our Bonfire Night page for more safety information.