This page has been prepared to assist retailers to meet the requirements of the legislation controlling the storage and supply of fireworks. It is not an exhaustive list but it does try to cover most aspects of the law. In particular, advice is given on:-
- Registration and Licensing for storage
- Permitted quantities
- Risk Assessment
- Safe Storage
- Underage Sales
- Licence to Supply
- Statutory Notices
Selling Fireworks - Licence to Supply
Once you are registered or licensed to store fireworks, you can sell fireworks at the following times:
- The first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it;
- On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it;
- During the period beginning on the 15th October and ending on the 10th November;
- During the period beginning on the 26th December and ending on the 31st December.
- If you intend to supply (or display for supply) fireworks at any other time of the year, you will need to obtain a Firework all year round licence.(pdf26k) from your local authority. (This is in addition to the requirement to be properly registered / licensed to store fireworks).
It is illegal to:-
- Sell any firework (including sparklers) to anyone under the age of 18
- In the case of caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns, sell to anyone apparently under the age of 16.
You should set up a system to ensure that you have done all that is reasonable to prevent young people being served with fireworks and similar goods on your premises.
If you are unsure how old a person is, ask them to prove their age with a proof of age card, photo driving licence or passport. Never accept a birth certificate or national insurance card as these do not carry a photograph and could belong to anyone.
If any doubt remains, always refuse the sale.
We will be able to give you detailed advice on avoiding underage sales, for example staff training and using a refusals book.
Fireworks not to be Supplied to Members of the Public
The following fireworks must not be supplied to members of the general public, regardless of their age:-
- Fireworks intended for professional use
- Bangers (including batteries containing bangers, for example Chinese crackers)
- Aerial shells and maroons, shells in mortar and maroons in mortar
- Fireworks with erratic flight (e.g. jumping jacks, ground spinners)
- Air bombs
Labelling and Packaging
- Fireworks must not be sold separately if they are intended to be sold together as a pack.
- Sparklers must be labelled ‘Warning – not to be given to children under 5 years of age’
- Fireworks intended for sale to the public must comply with the safety standard for fireworks,currently BS 7114, and be labelled accordingly.
The Supply of Large Quantities of Fireworks
You must not supply more than 50kg net of fireworks to any person unless that person can demonstrate that they are properly registered or licensed for the storage of fireworks.
In the case of the sale or transfer of more than 50kg of fireworks in a single transaction, you must keep a record of:-
- The name and address of the person who supplied you with the firework
- The date they were supplied to you
- The name and address of the person who you supplied the fireworks to
- The date you supplied them.
Suppliers must display a notice where fireworks are sold, giving the following messages:-
IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL ADULT FIREWORKS AND SPARKLERS TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18,
IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 TO POSSESS ADULT FIREWORKS IN A PUBLIC PLACE
This guidance is worded in a general way and cannot cover every circumstance. If you require further advice on the subject please contact us.