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1. Introduction - to our selections, types of fireworks and brands. more »
2. How to buy online - the shopping cart and payment details. more »
3. Delivery and Terms of Trading. more »
4. How big are they? - onscreen sizes can be deceptive more »
5. FAQ Some of the more frequently asked questions about buying and using fireworks more »
6. Is it legal? The law on buying and using fireworks more »
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Buying Fireworks: The Law for Consumers

How the law affects your buying and using fireworks.

KEY POINTS
 
fireworks law - key points No fireworks after 11.00pm
(exceptions Bonfire Night, DIwali, New Year, Chinese New Year)
fireworks law - key points Bangers, jumping jacks, mini-rockets, aerial shells proscribed.
fireworks law - key points Max 120dB on Cat.3
fireworks law - key points Min age 18 to buy or carry in public.
fireworks law - key points Fireworks in the street an offence
fireworks law - key points Cat.1 - indoor novelties
fireworks law - key points Cat.2 - garden fireworks,
10m recommended viewing
fireworks law - key points Cat.3 - display fireworks,
25m recommended viewing
fireworks law - key points Cat.4 - 'professional'
   

Some guidelines as to what is legal - and what isn't - to help you when you are buying and using your fireworks.

The 2003 Act


Main Points of the Act and the resulting regulations:

Set a curfew on the use of fireworks, banning them between the hours of 11.00pm and 7.00am except except for Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1.00am)
Banned shop sales of fireworks louder than 120 decibels.
Created an offence for under-18s to have them in a public place.
Made all year-round shop sales licenceable.
Limited the sale period for other retail outlets.
The Act is also an enabling act which set out a framework for more detailed regulations to appear in the future.
Text at Office of Public Sector Information Fireworks Act 2003

Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997

Established the requirements for BS7114 - the Categories 1-4 classification and the safety, testing and labelling of fireworks.
Banned aerial shells,maroons and variations of these, bangers, mini-rockets and fireworks of erratic flight.
Text at Office of Public Sector Information Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997

Consumer Law

There are two other main areas of legislation which can be applied to the purchase of fireworks:
Consumer Protection. The intention of several Acts is to ensure that the consumer has the right to goods which are of merchantable quality, are correctly described, and are fit for the purpose for which they are intended. Also, that there is a means of redress if these are requirements are not fulfilled.
Mail Order Protection. Goods ordered online fall within the remit of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 which broadly give similar rights and obligations to online purchasers as those which apply to traditional mail order transactions.

Further reading:

BERR Consumer Safety: Fireworks

NOTE: The information on this page is presented in good faith but it is not intended as a definitive guide to any or all of the legislation mentioned and no liability is accepted for its accuracy. If you require legal advice please consult a lawyer.

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