Events with fireworks

The use of fireworks can cause distress to residents, especially the elderly, those with conditions such as autism and PTSD, as well as to pets. It's not the flash that often causes distress, it's the bang.

If you are having a private display, please be considerate of others. You can take a few simple steps to ensure enjoyment and safety for all:

  • Buy fireworks from licensed retailers: Do not buy fireworks from unknown retailers, particularly online. Avoid buying from others on social media marketplaces
  • Speak to your local fireworks retailer about quieter fireworks options
  • Enjoy public displays: public displays are generally safer than organising your own 
  • Make sure you inform your neighbours in advance so they can prepare 
  • Keep animals safe: keep pets inside when fireworks are being let off. They can disorientate wildlife so try to set them off on traditional celebration dates only

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) have also produced safety tips on using fireworks responsibly and considerately and protecting people and animals from harm.

Find out about the latest government fireworks safety campaign

Fireworks and the law

The Firework Regulations 2004 prohibit:

  • anyone under 18 from possessing fireworks
  • anyone except professionals from possessing display fireworks
  • the use of fireworks from 11pm to 7am with extensions for the following festivals: 
    • first day of Chinese New Year until 1am the following day
    • on the day of Diwali until 1am the following day
    • on New Year's Eve until 1am on New Year's Day
    • Bonfire Night (5th November) until midnight

You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Read more on the government website

Organising a bonfire or fireworks display

If you are organising a community or public bonfire or fireworks display, please read the community guide to organising bonfires and fireworks.

Find out more information from our quick guide to events planning.