With bonfire night fast approaching and fireworks now on general sale, Nottingham City Council Trading Standards Service are reminding traders of their legal responsibilities to ensure they are supplying safe fireworks and are adhering to the law by only selling them to persons of legal age.

As well as being a time for fun and celebration, firework season can often encourage incidents of anti-social behaviour which can cause concern and in extreme cases, fear for vulnerable individuals. Bonfire night and fireworks in general can be great fun for the entire family but it is important that it is celebrated safely. Every year there are accidents caused by improper use of fireworks and carelessness. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks, which is one reason why fireworks are an age restricted item.

The penalties for selling without a licence or storing fireworks unsafely is a fine or up to 12 month imprisonment. Supplying fireworks to a person under the age of 18 could land you a fine or up to 3 months imprisonment and using fireworks incorrectly is a fine or up to 6 months imprisonment. You could also be issued with a penalty notice for £90″. 

Trading Standards will be carrying out inspections to ensure that illegal fireworks are removed from sale. Trading Standards Officers will also carry out inspections to ensure fireworks are not supplied to anyone under the age of 18 and ensuring retailers comply with the relevant safety legislation.

Councillor Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, said: “Through our inspections we aim to find those who are storing fireworks unsafely or illegally and those selling unsafe fireworks. Fireworks incorrectly stored pose a significant fire and explosion risk. The team from Trading Standards does an excellent job visiting businesses and checking they are complying with the regulations – with the ultimate aim of helping to keep the public safe.”

“Although fireworks can be fun, fireworks that do not meet safety requirements or are used incorrectly can cause a great deal of harm. The law is designed to ensure safe fireworks are supplied and fireworks are age restricted in order to protect children.”

If you see fireworks being sold from a mobile premises, to those under 18 or that don’t have a CE mark, contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 0345 404 0506.


The Law

  • It is against the law to carry fireworks in public if you’re under 18.
  • Fireworks must not be sold to anyone who is under 18.
  • From the 4thJuly 2017 fireworks marked BS 7114 can no longer be sold in the UK. All fireworks must carry the CE mark.
  • It is an offence to set off fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night (midnight to 7am), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am to 7am).
  • Fireworks can only be sold in accordance with the correct licence. During firework season, fireworks can only be sold between the 15thOctober and the 10th
  • Other periods when fireworks can be sold in accordance with a licence are as following;
  • On the first day of the Chinese New Year and 3 days preceding it.
  • On the day of Diwali and the 3 days preceding it.
  • During the period beginning on the 26thDecember and ending on the 31st
  • In order to sell fireworks throughout the whole year, traders need an all year round licence.

Trading Standards advise that:

  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Light sparklers one at a time, wear gloves and never give sparklers to a child under 5 and children over this age should be supervised
  • Buy fireworks bearing a CE Mark
  • Only purchase fireworks from licenced premises and do not be tempted to buy fireworks from someone who is selling them in the street or from the back of a van etc.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arm’s length using a taper
  • Stand well back and never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw fireworks
  • Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and for putting used sparklers into
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving

Did You Know? 

  • Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil
  • A rocket can reach speeds of 150mph
  • A firework shell can reach as high as 200m

The following fireworks are not allowed to be supplied to the general public:

  • Aerial wheels;
  • Shells-in-mortar;
  • Air bombs;
  • All bangers (including batteries and combinations, such as Chinese Crackers)
  • Mini rockets
  • Fireworks with erratic flight (e.g. jumping ground spinners, jumping crackers, spinners)
  • Category 4 professional display fireworks (other than to a person with specialist knowledge)