Fireworks Safety

The Firework Code

  • Do not buy fireworks from unlicenced retailers

These fireworks may be unsafe and illegal

  • Only buy fireworks that comply with current safety standards
  • Always keep fireworks in a closed box

Take them out one at a time and close the box

  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Be considerate. Let your neighbours know you will be having a display, especially if they are elderly, pets or children.
  • Avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school night
  • Ensure your pets are safe
  • Carefully follow the instructions on each firework
  • Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise
  • Never throw fireworks; it is dangerous
  • Light fireworks one at a time, at the end of the fuse, and at arms length
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them
  • Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5
  • Never throw spent fireworks onto a bonfire


Only buy from licenced sellers

Make sure you buy fireworks from licenced in-store and online retailers. Do not buy fireworks from unknown retailers on social media sites. Remember it is illegal for under 18’s to buy fireworks.

Let fireworks off on traditional celebration dates and adhere to the fireworks curfew

People are more likely to plan to protect pets and other animals if fireworks are let off on traditional dates. The firework curfew is midnight on Fireworks Night, 1am on Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year, and 11pm the rest of the year. Firework timings may differ in Scotland. Search ‘fireworks’ on for more advice.

Follow the instructions

Before letting off fireworks, read all the safety instructions on the box, so you know important things like how far away people need to stand. If you do not understand the instructions and warnings, do not use the firework. Once any debris has cooled down, tidy it up and soak it in water overnight. Then put it in a rubbish bag and in the bin.

Understand what fireworks you can use at home

Category F1, F2 and F3 fireworks are on sale to the public. A consumer firework will fall into either category F2 or F3 depending on how much of a safety distance it requires. Check you have enough space to safely use a firework before you buy it. Category information can be found on the label.

Be considerate to animals when letting off fireworks

If you plan to let off any fireworks, let your neighbours know in advance so they can plan for pets that might be affected.

If you live close to horses, let their owners know well in advance that you are letting fireworks off. Site your fireworks well away from them and aim them in the opposite direction. It is important to be considerate to horse owners as they cannot easily move horses away from fireworks.

Notify nearby farms and stables if you are planning to use fireworks. Do not let off fireworks if they will disturb wildlife habitats, or roosting bats and birds.

Keep pets safe

On nights where fireworks are being let off, keep dogs and cats inside with somewhere to hide and give small outdoor pets extra bedding and nesting material to burrow in.