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Sale of Fireworks

To sell Fireworks to the public you must first obtain an Explosives Storage Licence 

Once you are licensed to store the fireworks, you can sell fireworks at the following times without needing a further licence:

• 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.

What if I want to sell fireworks at other times?

If you intend to supply (or display for supply) fireworks at any other time of the year, you will need to obtain a Licence to supply or expose for Supply Adult Fireworks from the Council’s Trading Standards Team.

The cost of this licence is £500, you can obtain a form by contacting the Trading Standards Department.

How do you store & sell fireworks safely?

This area is covered by the Explosives Regulations 2014.

The HSE has guidance on storing and selling fireworks on its website. This guidance includes a risk assessment checklist.

If you do not have a storeroom to use exclusively for the storage of fireworks, category F2 and F3 fireworks should be stored away from the shop premises or be kept either:

• away from the sales area in their closed transport packaging in a fire-resistant cabinet, container or within a suitable cage
... or
• in a suitable display case (the size of the retail sales area determines maximum quantities of fireworks that can be stored on the shop floor)

What are the age restrictions applicable to the sale of fireworks?

The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 prohibit the supply of category F4 fireworks to the general public. The Regulations prohibit the supply of category F2 (outdoor use - confined areas) and category F3 (outdoor use - large open areas) fireworks to any person under 18. The Regulations prohibit the supply of category F1 (indoor use low-hazard low-noise - party poppers etc) fireworks to any person under 16. An exception is made for Christmas crackers, which must not be supplied to any person under 12. Caps for toy guns are exempt from fireworks legislation.

Note: the labelling on packets of sparklers must carry the words: 'Warning: not to be given to children under five years of age'.

Where adult (categories F2 and F3) fireworks are supplied or exposed for supply in any premises, the Fireworks Regulations 2004 require a notice to be displayed in a prominent position in those premises, no less than 420 mm by 297 mm (A3), with letters no less than 16 mm high, giving the following information:

IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL CATEGORY F2 FIREWORKS OR CATEGORY F3 FIREWORKS TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18

IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 TO POSSESS CATEGORY F2 FIREWORKS OR CATEGORY F3 FIREWORKS IN A PUBLIC PLACE

Which types of fireworks are banned?

Only fireworks that comply with European safety standards, carry the CE mark and are correctly labelled with details of the manufacturer and importer can legally be supplied to consumers.

Boxes of fireworks must not be split and sold separately.

Any firework that exceeds 120 decibels must not be supplied to consumers.

Also banned are fireworks of the following description:
• an aerial wheel
• a banger, flash banger or double banger
• a jumping cracker
• a jumping ground spinner
• a spinner
• a mini rocket
• a shot tube that produces a loud noise as its main effect and/or has an inside diameter greater than 30 mm
• a battery containing bangers, flash bangers or double bangers
• a combination (other than a wheel) that includes one or more bangers, flash bangers or double bangers

Fireworks that complied with BS 7114-2: Fireworks. Specification for fireworks can no longer be supplied. Only fireworks that are CE-marked and have instructions for use in English can be sold.

Further Information

If you need any further information in relation to the sale of Fireworks please contact the Trading Standards Team on 01685 725000.

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