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Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Wednesday, October 16 2013

Fireworks

The Environmental Health Service receives a number of complaints each year regarding fireworks parties.  Due to their increased popularity it is important to be aware of the current regulations.
 
When can I use fireworks? 
The Fireworks Regulations 2004 prohibit the use of fireworks at night (11pm - 7am). However, there are some exceptions, eg: Bonfire Night when separate regulations apply.  The regulations prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from possessing fireworks, and anyone except professionals from possessing display fireworks.
 
What is the law on the supply of Fireworks? 
Under the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 all fireworks for use by the public must meet British Standards.   Additionally, the sale of fireworks to anyone under 18 is banned, and of caps, cracker snaps and party poppers to anyone under 16.

Noise from fireworks 
The Environmental Health Service has powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take action against any person who it believes to be causing a 'statutory nuisance'.  Complaints received from fireworks parties can be avoided if the party host takes a few simple steps:-
 
The noise effects of fireworks will affect neighbours up to 100 metres away. Inform your neighbours of your intention to have a fireworks party.

  • Try to light the fireworks as early as possible to avoid disturbing those who are trying to sleep.
  • Keep the fireworks away from your neighbour's property and direct them into open space rather than at other properties.
  • Keep party noise to a minimum and ensure guests leave as quietly as possible at the end of the evening.
  • Do not use large aerial fireworks, which are the noisiest.
  • If the fireworks parties occur regularly from one property the Service may be able to take action against the occupier.


Making a complaint about fireworks
If you make a complaint you will need to identify the property causing the disturbance   An officer will then write to the alleged offender, informing them that a complaint has been received (your details will remain confidential).  If the fireworks continue, the Council may take action in cases where a 'statutory nuisance' is confirmed.

In some circumstances the Council will be unable to take action and private action in the Magistrates Court will be advised.  More information on this method of action is available from the Environmental Health Service on request.

Fireworks safety
If you are planning a fireworks party you should also consider the following health and safety guidelines:-

  • Keep your fireworks in a safe place, such as a closed metal or wooden container away from sources of heat, naked flames and other sources of ignition.
  • Do not smoke in the vicinity of the fireworks.
  • Keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • Do not use fireworks in adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds
  • Light the fireworks at arms length.
  • If a firework does not go off, do not return to it until you are sure it is safe to do so


For more information on animals and fireworks please read our information leaflet or read our Animal pages

.Useful sites to visit about fireworks:-

Or, if you require further information about fireworks please contact us

Fireworks and animals
Please read our advice leaflet for further information on how to look after your pets on Bonfire Night and any other time they are frightened by fireworks.   For information from the RSPCA please check their website - once on the RSPCA website see Campaigns and select Fireworks.

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