Fireworks are now widely available for sale and many people buy them and put on their own private displays at home. As with everything, there are potential problems that you could run into with this, and laws which you should be aware of. Here’s the key points:
When you can set fireworks off?
By law, fireworks must not be set off between 11pm and 7am, with the exception of Bonfire Night (when the cut-off is midnight), New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali (1am), but they can be used all year round.
When and where you can purchase fireworks?
In January 2005 the law changed and the effect was that you can now only buy fireworks from registered sellers for private use between 15 October to 10 November; 26 to 31 December, and three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year respectively. At all other times, you can only purchase fireworks from licensed shops.
There is no legal requirement to inform your neighbours that you are going to be setting off fireworks. However, you need to consider two points:
- If you cause any damage to your neighbour’s property with a firework, or cause any injury to anyone, you will be held liable and therefore could be on the end of a compensation claim or, even worse, a criminal charge; and
- If you cause distress to any animals as a consequence of your firework display you could be committing a criminal offence. Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 states it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to animals