Last updated: 25/11/2013
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Firework Legislation and the Law
As a retailer, you should be aware of your responsibilities
and changes to legislation.
New legislation has been introduced to help to make fireworks
safer to use and to tackle their deliberate misuse. It
affects how fireworks are imported, sold and used, and places
restrictions on possession. It means that fireworks will be
safer, less noisy and can only be let off at certain times.
It also means that those misusing them to either damage
property or injure will be able to be dealt with by the relevant
authorities. Retailers as well as consumers have new
The age for purchasing fireworks remains the same for Party
Poppers, Snaps, Throw Downs, Caps, Novelty Matches and Serpents may
only only be supplied to persons over the age of 16, whilst all
other fireworks (including sparklers) may only be supplied to
persons over the age of 18 years.
It is an offense for under 18's to possess adult fireworks in
public places and an offence for anyone (other than a professional)
to possess category 4 (professional display) fireworks.
Retailers are required to display the following notice in an A3
size with lettering at least 16mm high in a prominent position:
"It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age
of 18 and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess
fireworks in a public place."
Failure to comply with the law can lead to a penalty of up to
£5,000 and six months imprisonment.
Note: You will need a licence to store and sell
fireworks which is available from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service
by ringing 01872 323931.
The following document details everything retailers need to
know about selling fireworks:
Guide to Selling Fireworks
The changes to the law mean that some fireworks can only be
bought and used by firework professionals.
- Any firework which does not comply with BS 7114 or BS EN
15947-1/2/3/4/5:2010 (compliance is normally stated on the firework
- Air bombs
- Aerial shells, aerial maroons, shells-in-mortar and
- All bangers, (including batteries containing bangers, such as
- Mini rockets
- Some category 2 and 3 fireworks (as defined by BS 7114), which
exceed size limits in the 1997 regulations
- Fireworks with erratic flight (e.g. ground spinners, jumping
- All Category 4 fireworks (large display fireworks)
- Retail boxes of fireworks may not be split and sold
- Packs of sparklers have to bear a warning - "warning: not to be
given to children under five years of age"
- Fireworks that fall outside the regulations must be labelled -
"This device may not be sold to, or used by, a member of the
general public and may not be supplied to the public".
(Please note the word 'supplied' is used to cover sale, giving
away, or possession for supply in the course of a business or part
of a business)
What to do with Banned Stock
Please examine your old stock and your new stock for any banned
products. Your supplier can help you to identify any
incorrect stock. Any banned stock can only be disposed of in
the following manner:
- Return it to your supplier
- Sell it to a professional display operator (e.g. a person
competent, trained and insured for such activities)
- Sell it to a professional special effects operator
Selling and using Fireworks
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and Devon and Cornwall
Police are working in partnership with all major
retailers to ensure that members of the public
organising their own firework displays, do so in a safe and
We are asking all firework retailers in Cornwall to take part in
our "Safe Sell, Safe Use" firework safety campaign.
How you can Help
We would like your business to become an active partner in this
very important campaign by asking your staff to place the "Safe
Sell, Safe Use" stickers provided on to every box of fireworks that
If your business has not received a firework safety pack from
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, please contact Cornwall Fire and
Rescue Service to request one.
Call the 24 hour Fire Safety Advice telephone on 0800
3581 999 or email us at: email@example.com
Business Fire Safety
Cornwall Fire and Rescue