It’s that time of year again where bright colours and loud bangs bring the sky alive while the smell of bonfire lingers in the air.

Officially, fireworks night is held this year on Monday 5th November, but as is the case every year, many of you will have heard those pesky snap, crackle and pops already.

While fireworks events can be really fun and sociable, it is best to be clued up on what the rules are so you don’t annoy the neighbours or put anyone’s health and safety at risk.


  1. Who can buy fireworks?

To buy and let off fireworks, you must be an adult over the age of 18. You can only buy fireworks and sparklers from registered sellers for private use on selected dates in the year. These are: Between 15 October and 10 November, 26 to 31 December and three days before both Diwali and Chinese New Year. At any other times, you can only buy fireworks from shops which have a special license.


  1. What fireworks can you let off?

Adults can let off category 2 and 3 fireworks, which available to the general public in supermarkets. They will normally have ‘Category F2’ or ‘Category F3’ labels on the box. Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals and are banned for sale for the public.


  1. Is there a curfew?

Yes. For the majority of the year, it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) between 11pm and 7am. However, for Bonfire Night the curfew is extended to midnight and for New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year the cut off is 1am.


  1. What safety measures should I bear in mind?

According to the London Fire Brigade, there is a safety code you should follow when setting off fireworks:

– Only buy fireworks with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114.

– Don’t drink alcohol and set off fireworks.

– Keep fireworks in a closed box and follow the instructions carefully.

– Light them at arm’s length using a taper, stand well back.

– Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.

– Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.

– Do not give sparklers to children under five. Once sparklers have gone out, they are still hot so put them in a bucket of water.

– Keep your pets indoors if you’re setting off fireworks.


For bonfires:

– Build a bonfire well clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges.

– Never use flammable liquid to start a bonfire.

– Never burn dangerous items like aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.

– Don’t leave them unattended until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water.

– Keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby at all times in case of a fire.

– The British Hedgehog Preservation Society also recommends not building your bonfire until the day it’s lit. That will stop wildlife like hedgehogs nesting in the branches. It’s also a good idea to use a torch to check your bonfire before you light it, gently lifting pieces of wood section by section with a pole or broom.


  1. What happens if you break the law when it comes to fireworks?

Police can issue on the spot fines of £90 for anyone using fireworks illegally. You could also be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally.

So, with that, have a fun and safe firework night!


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