Here you can find out more about the legislation relating to the sale of fireworks and how to keep your pets safe. There are links to health and safety guidance too.
The police and trading standards enforce the legislation relating to fireworks*. You cannot buy adult fireworks if you are under 18 years old. It is against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on certain occasions.
It is a criminal offence to display fireworks for sale or sell fireworks outside of the following dates (except under special licence from Trading Standards):
- 5 November (three weeks before and five days after)
- New Year's Eve (26 December to 1 January)
- Chinese New Year (four days before and the actual date)
- Diwali (four days before and the actual date)
Applying for a licence for fireworks information via Surrey County Council Trading Standards
It is illegal to:
- have or use fireworks when you are under the age of 18. Adult fireworks are any firework with the exception of; a cap, cracker snap, novelty match, party popper, serpent, sparkler or throw down
- set off fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am. There are different arrangements for special occasions including New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year when the times change to between 1am and 7am
- have professional fireworks without a licence
- sell fireworks without a licence
Top tips to stay safe on Guy Fawkes Night
- light sparklers one at a time and always remember to wear gloves
- only ever buy and use fireworks that are in a well contained box and have a valid CE mark.
- do not drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks or attending a bonfire
- always read and follow instructions carefully on each firework before you light them
- light fireworks at arms length using taper and stand well back
- never go back to a lit firework
- never put fireworks in your pocket
- never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
- keep naked flames away from fireworks
Consider your neighbours
Fireworks can frighten people. In particular children and the elderly can be intimidated and scared by firework noise. Late at night they also disturb sleep, farm animals and domestic pets. Let your neighbours know in advance so they can make arrangements if necessary.
If you are aware of fireworks going off after 11pm please contact the police on 101.
More information can be found on GOV.UK.
Keep pets safe
Make sure you keep your pets safe on bonfire night and when fireworks are likely to be set off in your neighbourhood.
Fireworks can be terrifying to animals and as responsible owners we should do what we can to ensure their comfort and wellbeing.
Here is some useful advice to consider:
- take dogs for a good walk during daylight hours so they can stay inside in the evening when people are likely to let off fireworks. If fireworks are let off whilst you are out with your pooch he may take off in fright and run into a road
- keep your TV or radio on a bit higher than normal to block out some of the sound.
- shut the curtains to block the lights
- create a doggy fort for your pal! Make a nice comfy space for your dog to escape into where he will feel safe and secure and don't try to pull him out whilst the fireworks are going on
- consider using a plug in diffuser for cats and dogs to help them stay relaxed. You can also get drops to put on the back of the neck with the same effect available in most pet shops. Thunder Shirts are also available for dogs that are particularly scared of loud bangs
- keep cats inside and lock cat flaps in the evenings
- bring in your pets from the garden such as rabbits and guinea pigs as they may be susceptible to heart attacks from the noise and lights
Health and Safety
Health and Safety guidance on fireworks can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive website.