What's the law on setting off fireworks? Everything you need to know

Guy Fawkes Night is still a while away, but these days fireworks are making a bang all year round.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 9:28 am

There’s no denying that a firework display can be fun for all the family, but unfortunately a small minority of people are using them irresponsibly.

The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks - including sparklers - in the street or other public places.

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It is against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for: Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight.

New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

Buying fireworks

You can’t buy adult fireworks if you’re under 18.

You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:

October 15 to November 10

December 26 to December 31

Three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.

Firework categories

Adult fireworks are category two and three fireworks - they don’t include things like party poppers.

Category four fireworks can only be used by professionals.


You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.