Bonfire Night fireworks rules, including whether it is illegal to set them off before November 5
It looks like Bonfire Night will be happening for a whole month now, not just one night.
People buy fireworks and leave them in their own gardens before and after bonfire night. However, the public should be aware that there are actually some strict rules around the use of fireworks.
Many people may be breaking the law without realizing it.
Insurance company Zego has compiled a summary of all the rules and regulations surrounding the use of fireworks by individuals. With November 5 fast approaching, the RSPCA has revealed a new poll showing that the British public appears to be increasingly turning against the increasing amount of fireworks being set off randomly by neighbors in back gardens. A new campaign called #BangOutOfOrder has now been launched with a poll claiming that more than three-quarters of people want the UK Government to limit fireworks to just one week during Bonfire Night celebrations.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says its campaign aims to “end the fear and distress caused by fireworks to innocent animals”. A campaign spokesperson said: “By raising awareness and calling for responsible behaviour, the campaign seeks to protect animals from harm and encourages UK governments to review current legislation.”
An RSPCA survey revealed that 76% of UK adults feel there should be legal limits on the days on which fireworks are set off. A total of 69% believe the government should limit the sale of fireworks, while 73% believe “fireworks control zones” should be created, Bristol Live reports.
Carrie Stones, campaign director at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), said: “Fireworks impact animals every year – both during fireworks season when they are set to celebrate traditional occasions, and – unexpectedly – out of season for other occasions. While many people enjoy watching displays, the dazzling spectacle of fireworks often becomes a terrifying ordeal for many animals.
“It is unfortunate that we receive calls every year about animal welfare concerns associated with fireworks, and we hear firsthand how frustrated the public is that Bonfire Night seems to last longer than ever before,” she added.
Here are the rules:
1 Transport fireworks
Vehicle Requirements – Transport of fireworks is regulated, especially for large quantities. Small quantities for personal use generally do not require a special vehicle, but for larger quantities, Vehicle Special Order (VSO) vehicles may be required.
Dangerous Goods Regulations – If you are transporting large quantities, you will need to adhere to the regulations set out for dangerous goods, which may require specialist in-vehicle storage solutions.
2 Storage and handling
Fireworks should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from any sources of ignition. During transportation, be sure to pack securely to prevent accidental unpacking.
3 Buy fireworks
Age Restrictions – You must be over 18 to buy fireworks in the UK. Retailers are required to verify your age, and selling fireworks to minors is illegal.
Categories of Fireworks – Fireworks are classified into F1, F2, F3 and F4. Most consumer fireworks fall into F2 and F3, with F1 being the least dangerous and F4 being reserved for professional displays.
Licenses and Permits – Retailers must have a license to sell fireworks. If you are planning a public display, you will need to obtain a permit from your local authority.
4 Time constraints
Fireworks are usually only permitted between 7am and 11pm. As for Bonfire Night, its time extends until midnight.
5 Public lands
Fireworks may not be set off on public lands, including streets and parks, without prior permission from the local council.
6 noise levels
Excessively loud fireworks can get you in trouble for causing noise pollution. Check your local council guidelines on acceptable noise levels.
7 Animal care
Be careful of pets and wildlife. Loud noises can disturb animals, so it’s often a good idea to let neighbors know if you’re planning a show.
8 Penalties and fines
Failure to comply with fireworks laws can result in fines and even imprisonment. For example, selling illegal fireworks can result in up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.
Smoke Control Areas – In designated smoke control areas, usually in urban or densely populated areas, the use of open fires and smoke emission are more strictly regulated. Burning materials that produce smoke in these areas could constitute a crime.
Environmental Regulations – Fires that cause excessive smoke, fumes or odor may be considered a “statutory nuisance”, which may result in fines or legal action under environmental protection laws.
Lease or Lease Agreements – If you are leasing your property or if it is part of a lease, there may be clauses in your agreement that prohibit setting fires. Make sure to check your contract before lighting one.
Proximity to Roads – Setting fires too close to public roads can be considered illegal if smoke from the fire obscures drivers’ vision, posing a safety risk.
Health and Safety – The fire department can forcefully extinguish fires that pose a risk to public health and safety, and you may be responsible for the costs involved in intervening.
Fire Service Law – Some areas have fire safety laws that require permits or approval from the local fire service before you can start a fire.