Now that the Bonfire Night parties are over, many people are faced with a common fireworks dilemma in what to do with the leftover fireworks.
Here’s a quick look at the laws and regulations of using fireworks and what you should do with what you have left.
By Ali (Fireworks explosion) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When Can You Let Off Fireworks?
Quite surprisingly, many people think that you aren’t allowed to let off fireworks other than near Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve. In fact, you can let off fireworks whenever you want, as long as you keep in mind the time restrictions. It is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. Any time outside of this restriction is fine to fire away your fireworks!
However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. These include:
- November 5th, Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes: You are allowed to let fireworks off until midnight. Too late for this year but worth remembering for 2015! In 2015 Chinese New Year is February 19th.
- December 31st, New Year’s Eve: You are allowed to let off fireworks all the way to 1am.
- Chinese New Year: Again, you are allowed to use fireworks until 1am. Chinese New Year is celebrated at a different time each year, so make sure you check the dates. It is usually either at the end of January or in February.
- Diwali: You are allowed to use fireworks until 1am. The dates for Diwali change every year, so remember to check them beforehand. Check out the Diwali Festival website for more information.
By UrbanUrban_ru (Flickr: DIWALI INDIA 2) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Of course, if you want to let off fireworks in any other date, you might want to alert your neighbours, especially if you have many fireworks to shoot.
It is just a courteous thing to do and you can always ask them to join you in enjoying the show!
Where Can You Let Off Fireworks?
Perhaps more importantly, you should understand that whether it is New Year’s Eve or you are just letting off leftover fireworks, you couldn’t do it wherever you want.
The law states that you are not allowed to let off fireworks without permission in the street or any other public place.
Therefore, you always have to use your fireworks on private land, such as in your back garden, or on land where you have the landowner’s permission, such as a local field.
If you have some extra fireworks to spare, don’t go letting them off in public spaces or down the road!
Can I Sell My Fireworks?
You might be thinking that selling your leftover fireworks is a good way to earn a bit of cash, but it is strictly forbidden. You need a licence to sell fireworks and selling fireworks without an appropriate licence can end in a fine up to £5,000.
It’s also essential to always buy fireworks from licensed retailers. You don’t want to end up buying fireworks that might not be safe to use and the best way to ensure your fireworks are safe is by buying from ourselves and other licenced retailers.
Can I Store My Fireworks?
You might have leftover fireworks from Bonfire Night celebrations be thinking of keeping them until your New Year’s Eve party. The key thing to keep in mind is that fireworks are explosives.
Although this might sound obvious, it is something people tend to forget from time to time. Unfortunately, many people have been seriously injured or killed down the years owing to careless firework storage leading to fires and explosions.
If you are planning to store your leftover fireworks, there are two things to keep in mind: the safest way to store them and the regulations regarding storing them.
First, you need to ensure your place of storage is:
- Somewhere dry to ensure fireworks don’t get wet.
- Somewhere with no heat or ignition source.
Second, you need to comply with the regulations regarding storage. Most commercially bought fireworks have either the marking 1.4G or 1.3G on them to indicate classification. There are different rules regarding these classifications.
On top of this, you also need to know the Net Explosive Content (NEC) of your fireworks. Both the classification and the NEC can typically be found in the fireworks box or you can check it from the retailer’s website.
Hazard type 4 fireworks, which are typically the 1.4G fireworks, can be stored:
- For an unlimited time when storing up to 5kg NEC.
- For three weeks when storing up to 50kg NEC.
- For three consecutive days in the place of intended use when storing up to 250kg NEC.
Hazard type 3 fireworks, typically the 1.3G fireworks, can be stored:
- For an unlimited time when storing up to 5kg NEC.
- For three consecutive days in the place of intended use when storing up to 100kg NEC.
If you have a mixture of both type 3 and type 4 fireworks, then you need to apply the storage rules of type 3 to the whole bunch. If you are storing many fireworks, you might need to apply for a licence, as well as store them in special containers.
Hopefully, the above helps you understand the rules for using your leftover fireworks! Letting off fireworks is a great way to brighten up your evenings and if you keep the above rules in mind, you can enjoy fireworks safely throughout the year!