Follow our advice to make sure you have a safe time while enjoying the fun and excitement.
You can download the Firework Code here.
If you have damaged fireworks at home, contact us and we will arrange to have them collected and safely disposed of.
Giving your own firework display is a book for people running firework displays who set off the fireworks themselves, but have no specialist knowledge.
You can download a free copy here.
- Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114:1998 or BS EN 14035:2003
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions on each firework
- Light them at arm’s length, using a taper
- Stand well back
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
- Always supervise children around fireworks
- Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
- Never give sparklers to a child under five
- Keep pets indoors
- Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night
Firework displays, whether private or public, should be enjoyable occasions. If organisers take the necessary precautions and assess the possible risks, they should also be safe occasions.
If you want to set off fireworks late at night [between 11pm and 7am, except on 5 November (when fireworks are permitted until midnight) and on New Years Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (when fireworks are permitted until 1am)] then you need to apply for a dispensation from us. You can download an application form or apply online.
Before the display
- Check that the fireworks you buy conform to BS 7114:1998 or BS EN 14035:2003 and are suitable for the size of the display area
- Ensure your display area is free from hazards
- Read the instructions in daylight
- Warn neighbours, especially elderly people or those with pets, well in advance
- Let the Coastguard know (on 01595 692976) about your display
- One clearly identified person should be responsible for the display
On the night
You will need:
- A metal box with a lid for storage
- A good torch
- A protective hat, eye protection and gloves
- A First Aid kit
- A bucket of water
- A bucket of sand or soft earth to stick the fireworks in for launching
- A board for launching flat-bottomed fireworks.
During the display
- Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
- Ensure all spectators are at a safe distance
- Stand well back while fireworks are launching
- Leave any unlit fireworks for at least 30 minutes before returning to them. Then use tongs or gloves to pick them up and put them in water.
- Keep storage box closed between use
- Keep children under control
- Don’t set off fireworks between 11.00pm and 7.00am, except on 5 November (when fireworks are permitted until midnight) and on New Years Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (when fireworks are permitted until 1.00am).
After the display
- Use tongs or gloves to collect spent fireworks
- Next morning check again and remove firework debris
Follow all the safety tips - you will have a safe, enjoyable event!
- Reddened skin
- Pain in the reddened area
- Blisters may also be present
- Cool the affected area with lots of cold water, or any other liquid available such as milk or beer, until the burning sensation eases
- Make the casualty as comfortable as possible in a sitting position
- Reassure the casualty
- If burned clothing is sticking to the affected area, DO NOT attempt to remove it
- Remove any restrictions such as rings or watch straps in the area of the burn before swelling starts
- Cover the burn with a dressing or clean non-fluffy material, cling film, or a clean plastic bag
- Call ‘999’ for help if necessary or get the casualty to an Accident and Emergency Department
- Continue to reassure the casualty.
For more information read a recognised First Aid Manual or contact your local Red Cross Centre for a first aid course.
Find a safe location
- On level ground, at least 15 metres away from trees, buildings and fences
- Build well away from other flammable materials (such as petrol, LPG, motor vehicles)
- Don’t build your bonfire underneath overhead power lines
- Site spectator area upwind and keep the overall size of the bonfire manageable
- Make sure all neighbours are warned in advance
While building the bonfire, use only dry materials and don't use:
- Paint tins
- Aerosol sprays
- Foam furniture
- Oil or petrol cans
- Gas cylinders
Lighting the bonfire
- Check that there are no children or animals inside the bonfire
- Check that all the materials present are yours, as illegal dumping is a serious offence and should be reported to the Police or the Environmental Health Service.
Use: Firelighters and paper
Never use: Petrol, paraffin, oil or methylated spirits
When the fire is alight
- Have someone responsible in charge
- Keep children and animals at a safe distance
- Keep fireworks well away
- Wear heavy-duty clothing and gloves
- Avoid alcohol
- Have sand and water available for emergencies
When the bonfire is finished
- Ensure the bonfire is extinguished
- Leave the site in a safe and tidy condition
Firework sales and safety
SIC Trading Standards Service
Bonfires and noise complaints
SIC Environmental Health Service