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Storage of Fireworks Licence

The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations (MSER) came into force in April 2005, and replace much of the Explosives Act of 1875. The Regulations impose duties on the retailer and wholesaler to:-

  • Register or licence the storage of fireworks
  • Prevent fire and explosion on premises where fireworks are stored
  • Prevent unauthorised access to fireworks


What Type of Fireworks am I Storing?

MSER classifies fireworks into Hazard Types according to the hazard they pose. There are four hazard types (HT), with HT1 being the most dangerous and HT4 the least potentially dangerous.

The vast majority of fireworks that you will come across at the retail level are classified HT4, and some will be HT3. You can work out the hazard type of the fireworks you intend to store by finding the transport code on the outer packaging they arrive in.

Transport Code Equivalent Hazard Type

        1.3G                       HT3
        1.4G                       HT4

Registration and Licensing for the Storage of Fireworks

In order to store fireworks, you will require a registration certificate or licence from your local authority to do so. Which one you need depends upon the type and quantity of fireworks that you intend to store, see attached table Registration and Licensing for the Storage of Fireworks.pdf. (5k). The vast majority of fireworks retailers and wholesalers will need to be registered rather than licensed.

How Do I Register or Obtain a Licence to Store Fireworks?

If you have a current registration or licence and your circumstances have not changed, then you need only apply to the local authority for a renewal. If you have not applied previously for a registration or licence or you do not have a current registration or licence, then you must mark your application as a new application.

Download an application form for Registration or a licence

Please be aware that as from 6th April 2010,charges have changed, and that charges will now be made at the revised fee. Please see the full list of charges, or please contact us on 01685 725138 or

Fill in the application form following the guidance notes. You must answer all the questions fully and truthfully, as the information provided will assist the authority in determining whether the applicant is a fit person to store fireworks, and whether the premises are suitable for storage.

In considering whether a person is fit to store fireworks, the local authority must be confident that the person can be relied upon to store fireworks without any risk to public safety. In considering whether the premises are suitable for storage, the local authority will use the criteria contained in the MSER and guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive.

It is an offence to give false information in support of any application.

You will be notified in due course whether your application has been successful. If you have been successful, your registration certificate or licence (as appropriate) will be issued and you can begin to store fireworks.

Under the MSER, the local authority can refuse to register or licence premises for the storage of fireworks, and it can also revoke a registration or licence currently in force. If you are unhappy with a decision made by the local authority, you should make your representations within 28 days to the council at the address given at the end of this leaflet.

If you are still unhappy with the final outcome, you may appeal to :-

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Richmond House

79, Whitehall




How Much Does it Cost to Obtain a Registration or Licence?

The current fees chargeable under the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations are indicated on the application forms and are currently valid for 2009/10. Please note that the fees are set by statute law and cannot be varied by the local authority. You will note that the fees for a licence and registration differ. Please ensure that you complete all the documentation correctly, and submit the appropriate fee to avoid any delay in processing your application.

What Do I Need to Do to Store Fireworks Safely?

You are responsible for the safety of your staff, customers and anyone else visiting your premises. You will need to carry out a risk assessment. You can do this by completing the risk assessment checklist included in this guide. The risk assessment involves thinking about what could go wrong, and then deciding what action you can take to try to ensure that it doesn’t go wrong.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • How could a fire start?
  • How could it spread?
  • What do I need to do to protect people if there is a fire?

Then decide what you need to do to :-

  • Prevent a fire starting
  • Stop it spreading
  • Protect people in the event of a fire

Then, carry out the actions identified by the assessment, and use the ‘Storing Fireworks Safely’ table overleaf to assist you in ensuring that your fireworks are stored safely. Your risk assessment should be reviewed regularly, or when there is a change in circumstances to ensure that it remains current, relevant and effective. Note that if you have five or more employees, you are required to keep a written copy of the risk assessment.

What Quantity of Fireworks Can Be Kept in the Sales Area?

As well as controlling the maximum quantity of fireworks permitted on the premises as a whole, the local authority registration limits the quantity of fireworks permitted in the sales area of the store. The larger the sales area, the greater the quantity of fireworks you will be able to store there, as specified in Quantity of Fireworks to Size of Sales Area.pdf(5k) The remainder of fireworks must be stored safely elsewhere on the premises.

Storing Fireworks Safely.pdf(13k)

Additional Safety Measures

Where more than 75kg net of HT4 fireworks are stored in the same building as domestic / sleeping accommodation or are stored in a building adjoining such accommodation, the following additional precautions must be taken to protect residents.

1. A fire detection system must be installed in the shop

2. Domestic parts of the building must have access / exit routes separate to those for the fireworks storage area.

3. There must be suitable fire separation between the fireworks store and the domestic accommodation (e.g. doors, floors and ceilings offering 30 minutes fire resistance.

The store must be closed off and secured from the domestic part of the property to prevent unauthorised access and potential sources of ignition.

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