Fireworks and explosives licensing

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service licences the storage of fireworks and explosives.  In most cases where an individual or business is:

  • acquiring,
  • keeping,
  • transferring,
  • storing
  • and/or manufacturing explosives,

an explosives licence will be required in accordance with The Explosive Regulations 2014.

About the explosive licence

An explosive licence is a document. It allows the holder to store and/or manufacture explosives within suitable premises.

The holder of the licence is the person who:

  • has control over the activities covered by the licence
  • ensures the conditions of the licence are being met and complied with

Applying for an explosive licence

Are you applying for an explosives licence for the first time or for a new premise? If so, part of the application process will include an inspection of the premises. This is to ensure the premises and storage arrangements are suitable.

For first-time applications by an individual, we will also:

  • carry out a check through Devon and Cornwall Police to ensure the applicant is a ‘fit and proper’ person

This is based on the requirements of Regulation 20, of the Explosive Regulations 2014.

A separate application and licence will be required for each premises you intend to store explosives/fireworks.

If you intend to store:

  • more than 2,000kg of Net Explosive Content (NEC) of explosives/fireworks or
  • if you intend to store explosives in mines.

You must apply for a licence from the Health and Safety Executive.

Further firework storage information is available from them at:

Please allow up to 28 days for the processing of applications and administering of explosive licence.

Risk assessment

If you intend to store explosives/fireworks you must undertake a site-specific Health & Safety Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) risk assessment which should cover the following:

  • Identification of the explosives/fireworks and any other dangerous substances within the workplace and the risks they pose.
  • Control measures required to either remove or reduce the risk.
  • The control measures required to reduce the effects of an incident involving the explosives/fireworks.
  • The procedures required to deal with any accidents, incidents or emergency involving explosives/fireworks.
  • Ensuring employees are properly informed and trained to control the risks and deal with incidents involving explosives/fireworks.

Further information on risk assessments.

Apply now

Apply for an explosives licence onlineAlternatively, you can download a paper copy of the application form

If you are applying for the first time you should read our information note found here before you complete the form – Link to guidance note ExpIN/001

Storage fees

View the appropriate storage fees which can be found within the Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2021.

Payment is not a guarantee that your application will be approved, or a licence will be issued.

If the decision is made to refuse your application for a licence (Regulation 20) your payment will not be refunded.

Selling fireworks all year round (outside of specified dates)

You can only sell fireworks during specified dates which are as follows;

  • On the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately before it
  • On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately before it
  • During the period October 15 to November 10
  • During the period December 26 to December 31

It is an offence under the Fireworks Regulations 2004 to sell outside these periods without a ‘licence to supply or expose for supply’ adult fireworks in addition to your storage licence.

If you wish to get an all year supply licence please contact Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service for an application form.  You can ring 01726 223620 or email

The annual fee is £500.

Current Legislation

The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015

  • require that all consumer fireworks sold in the UK must comply with Part 2 of those Regulations
  • specify those fireworks which may be supplied to the general public. These are listed as Category F1, F2 and F3 fireworks

Only fireworks that:

  • comply with European Safety Standards
  • carry a CE mark
  • are correctly labelled, with details of the manufacturer and importer

can legally be supplied to consumers.

Fireworks are explosive articles with UN numbers 0333 to 0337 and are defined under The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 as 'pyrotechnic articles for entertainment purposes'. 

You are permitted to store fireworks that are labelled in accordance with BS7114: Part 2, until they are suitably disposed of. However since the 5 July 17 it is an offence  to supply fireworks labelled under BS 7114, as retail fireworks, to any customers by you, nor should you be supplied any such fireworks by distributors or wholesalers.

Further guidance

The Explosive Regulations 2014 is supported by a suite of subsector guidance produced by the Health and Safety Executive. The guidance consists of two main documents designed to help you legally comply with the Explosive Regulations 2014.

In addition to the above legal publications the HSE has also produced some more detailed guidance specific to each subsector.

Level 1

These leaflets are aimed at retailers and contain basic information with a checklist intended as a starting point and to help you with your risk assessment.


Level 2

This guidance provides detailed information tailored to a particular subsector:

The HSE have also produced a related frequently asked questions.

Planning a fireworks display

The HSE webpage  "Organising Firework Displays" provides useful tips on organising firework displays however for more in depth guidance the Confederation of British Industry Explosives Interest Group (CBI EIG) have produced the following; 

Giving Your Own Firework Display – The Red Firework Guide 

This publication is directed at those firework displays, normally at pubs, clubs or charity gatherings, where the organisers have no specialist knowledge and plan to set the fireworks off themselves.

Working Together on Firework Displays – The Blue Firework Guide

This publication is specifically intended for organisers of firework displays, where the display is setup, fired and derigged by a professional display company.


Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service