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Frequently Asked Questions

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It is an offence to:

  • possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except category 1 fireworks - party poppers, sparklers, throwdowns etc) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18;
  • possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional;
  • it is illegal to supply adult fireworks to those under 18;
  • throw or cast or fire any firework in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space (this would include throwing or firing from a private place into a public place, street, highway etc);
  • to light any fire or discharge any firearm or firework (without lawful authority or excuse) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway, and as a consequence the highway is damaged.

There is a curfew on the use of adult fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on;

  • Bonfire night (when the curfew is between 12midnight and 7am);
  • New Years Eve (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am);
  • Chinese New Year (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am);
  • Diwali night (when the curfew is between 1am and 7am).

The penalties for using fireworks outside the above curfew hours are imprisonment (maximum 6 months) and a substantial fine. Please note, you could also commit offences if they were being used to cause a nuisance.

Please see websites in related information for details from the Health and Safety Executive on how to safely use fireworks and organise a fireworks display.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.