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Firework Safety

Fireworks are fun – fact! However, it’s important to remember that they are explosives and must be treated with the upmost care and respect. But don’t let this put you off, as by following a few basic guidelines you can help keep yourself and spectators safe. These guidelines are known as ‘The Firework Code’.

The Firework Code


* Do not buy fireworks from UNLICENCED retailers.
These fireworks may be unsafe and illegal.
* Only buy fireworks that comply with current safety standards. They should be labelled with the newer CE marking and not the old BS7114 which became illegal in 2017.
* Always keep fireworks in a closed box.
Take them out one at a time and close the box.
* Never put fireworks in your pocket.
* Ensure your pets are safe.
* Carefully follow the instructions on EACH firework.
* Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.
* Never throw fireworks; it is dangerous.
* Light fireworks one at a time, at the end of the fuse, and at arm’s length.
* Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them.
* Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5.
* Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire. They could have residual powder left in them which could ignite and cause injury.


Firework and Pyrotechnic Classifications

Whats the difference between fireworks and pyrotechnics? Well the truth is that a firework is a type of pyrotechnic device. All fireworks are pyrotechnics, but not all pyrotechnics are fireworks. The term firework generally related to a pyrotechnic devise meant for outdoor use; however factors such as the amount of debris, safety distance and noise level also play a part. Fireworks can be separated into 4 categories:

Category F1 - Indoor Fireworks

F1 Fireworks present a very low hazard and are intended for use in more confined areas such as domestic buildings. These fireworks are not as common.

Category F2 - Garden Fireworks

F2 Fireworks present a lower hazard than F3 fireworks and are intended for outdoor use only in smaller gardens. They have a maximum of 500g of pyrotechnic material within them. They have a minimum safety distance of 8m, however it’s important to check the back of each firework as they may have a larger recommended safety distance. 

Category F3 - Display Fireworks

F3 Fireworks are generally the largest consumer fireworks available and are intended for outdoor use only in larger gardens and areas with adequate room. They can include up to 999g of pyrotechnic material within them with a minimum safety distance of 25m.

Category F4 - Professional Fireworks

F4 Fireworks can only be sold to PWSK (persons with specialist knowledge) who own an adequate explosive storage site and hold valid public liability insurance. They cannot be sold to the public. They are commonly referred to as ‘”Industrial fireworks”. 

Although less commonly seen, specialist pyrotechnics are classified into two different groups; T1 (presenting a lower risk available to amateurs) and T2 (available only to PWSK). You’ll find these markings on stage pyrotechnics, lances, strobes, maroons and more. 

Fireworks And The Law

There are laws governing who fireworks can be sold to, as well as when they can be set off. 

If you’re under 18, you can’t:

* buy the types of fireworks which can only be sold to adults
* have fireworks in public places

If you are caught, the police can issue an on the spot fine of £80.

Its against the law to

* Set off fireworks in the street or public place
Set off fireworks between 23:00 and 07:00, except during certain celebrations such as Bonfire night (midnight), and New Years Eve/Diwali/ Chinese New Year (1am).

Breaking these laws in particular can land you a hefty fine of over £3000!