We want you to stay safe while enjoying fireworks, so read our top tips on fireworks safety.

Safety tips for bonfires, sparklers and fireworks

  1. If you’re having your own fireworks display, plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable, and ensure it finishes before 11pm
  2. Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  10. Build your bonfire clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges
  11. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
  12. Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. It if has to be left, damp it down with water
  13. Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency

Who can buy fireworks

To buy and let off fireworks, you must be an adult aged 18+

When can you buy fireworks

You can only buy fireworks and sparklers from registered sellers for private use on selected dates in the year:

  • Between 15 October and 10 November
  • Between 26 to 31 December
  • Three days before Diwali
  • Three days before Chinese New Year

You can buy fireworks outside these dates, but only from shops with a special licence.

When can you let off fireworks

For the majority of the year, it is illegal to set off fireworks (including sparklers) between 11pm and 7am.

However, for Bonfire Night the curfew is extended to midnight and for New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year the cut off is 1am.

What fireworks to buy

When buying fireworks, always look for a CE mark to make sure they’re safe to use and only buy fireworks up to Category 3.



Fireworks come in 4 categories,

  • Category 1 fireworks are low hazard fireworks. They pose the least danger, make very little noise and are for use in a limited space (including indoors). Examples include party poppers and Christmas crackers.
  • Category 2  and 3 are ‘adult fireworks’ and are available in shops and supermarkets. These will have Category F2 or F3 on the box.
  • Category 4 fireworks are banned for sale to the public and are for professional displays only. These are available at specialist suppliers.

Download our safety advice

Firework safety leaflet

Download PDF (2,883kb)

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