In recent weeks residents have contacted me to complain about people setting off fireworks far too early and also lighting them in a public place. This problem occurs each year and has a huge impact on the health of people (especially small children and elderly people) in the community and also their pets. It is important to know what the law is on this issue so that swift action can be taken against the law breakers. Local shops and firework suppliers also have a duty of care when selling fireworks to anyone.
An individual can’t buy or use ‘adult’ fireworks if they’re under the age of 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions. ‘Adult’ fireworks are also known as category 2 and 3 fireworks; they don’t include things like ‘sparklers’ and ‘party poppers’. The law states that you must not set off or throw fireworks (including ‘sparklers’) in the street or other public places. If you see someone doing this you should contact the Police immediately on 101.
You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. The exceptions are:
- On Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
- On New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am
An individual can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:
- 15th October to 10th November
- 26th to 31st December
- Three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year
At other times fireworks can only be purchased from licensed shops. Fines of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment for 3 months can apply for buying or using fireworks illegally. “On-the-spot fines of £80” may also be imposed. If you think a supplier or local shop is selling fireworks inappropriately or without the correct license, you can report them to Staffordshire County Council Public Protection/Trading Standards on 0300 111 8045.