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UK Firework Regulations: Know the Rules for Private Displays

UK Firework Regulations: Know the Rules for Private Displays

Can fireworks be let off at any time of the day or night? What are the noise restrictions of fireworks in the UK? Can anyone buy fireworks? Can anyone sell fireworks?

These are all really common questions and we're here to answer them to make sure you can enjoy your next fireworks display and stay on the right side of the law here in the UK. 

So, let's get them answered...

Can Fireworks Be Let Off At Any Time of the Day or Night?

There are specific times when fireworks can be set off legally. In England, Wales, and Scotland, fireworks cannot be set off between 11 pm and 7 am, except on certain occasions such as Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Diwali, and Chinese New Year, where the curfew is extended to midnight. In Northern Ireland, the curfew is from 11 pm to 6 am.

Local councils may have their own restrictions so it is best to check if there are any additional restrictions in your area by contacting your local council.

What Are the Noise Restrictions of Fireworks in the UK?

Fireworks sold to the general public must comply with noise level regulations. This means they must not exceed 120 decibels when measured at a distance of 15 metres.

Can Anyone Buy Fireworks in the UK?

It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.

You can be fined an unlimited amount and imprisoned for up to 6 months for using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Can Anyone Sell Fireworks?

Fireworks will only be widely available, i.e. from supermarkets, during the following periods:

  • Three days before Bonfire Night (November 5th)
  • Three days before New Year's Eve
  • Three days before Diwali
  • Three days before Chinese New Year

For the rest of the year, only licensed shops can sell fireworks to the general public. Licenced firework retailers, such as Epic Fireworks, are able to sell category 2 and 3 fireworks to adults all year around. Category 4 fireworks can only be sold to, and used by, licenced professionals.

Other Things to Consider

If you're planning a private fireworks display, you must ensure it is safe and does not endanger people, property, or animals. It's advisable to follow the Firework Code, which includes guidelines such as:

  • Site Selection: Choose a suitable location away from buildings, trees, and flammable materials.
  • Safety Distance: Maintain a safe distance between spectators and the firing site, as specified on the fireworks packaging.
  • Ignition: Use a taper to light fireworks at arm's length, and never return to a firework once lit.
  • Supervision: Assign a responsible adult to oversee the display and ensure safety procedures are followed.
  • Pet Safety: Take precautions to protect pets from the noise and stress of fireworks.

On that last point, under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animals. The penalty on conviction is either imprisonment up to 51 weeks or a fine of up to £20,000 or both. Enforcement of this section of the Act rests with Trading Standards, the Police or the RSPCA as appropriate.

Get Fireworks You Can Trust

Here at Epic Fireworks we've been in the in the firework game over over 2 decades. We stock the largest range of market-beating fireworks you can buy in the UK and all at unbeatable prices. So whether you're looking for rockets, barrages, loud fireworks, quiet fireworks, mines, fountains or anything else, we've got you covered.

Plus, our expert team have curated ready-made DIY display packs, taking the guesswork out of how to put on a great fireworks show for your friends and family.

Shop the full display pack range today

A photo of one of the Epic Fireworks New Year's DIY Display packs, showing the wide range of barrages, mines, fountains and rockets included as well as the safety equipment.

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