Firework Safety Advice
Gloucestershire Trading Standards want you to have a safe and enjoyable fireworks season.
Gloucestershire Trading Standards are encouraging residents to enjoy the season responsibly.
Bonfire Night is one the highlights of the British autumn, but whilst fireworks can be
captivating, they can post a serious risk if due care is not taken.
Only buy CE-marked fireworks
All fireworks must carry a CE mark – a manufacturer’s declaration that the goods conform to
European safety standards. Certain types of fireworks, found to be dangerous or erratic,
were proscribed during the process of bringing fireworks under this single certification.
All CE marked fireworks are reasonably safe if the instructions for use are
followed. The instructions must be in English. Foreign fireworks without English
instructions are banned in the UK.
Make sure you’re buying from a licensed seller
You should only ever buy fireworks from a licensed seller. Don’t buy from a man in the pub,
from a white van, or from a market stall.
Keep pets inside
Animals can be distressed by the loud noises and bright flashes of light. It’s best to keep
them indoors around Bonfire Night, New Years, and other times of year where fireworks are
frequently used, such as Diwali and Chinese New Year.
Follow the instructions
Each firework will have instructions on how to safely use it. The box will also
have instructions. Each will have a safe distance to stand back, which gives an indication of
how dangerous the fallout from the firework is.
And if a firework doesn’t go off as planned? “Don’t go back. Wait until the next morning, and
then put it in a bucket of water for 24 hours.”
Make sure that you have a clear path to retire to a safe distance after lighting the fuse –
bearing in mind it’ll be dark. You also need to make sure your garden is big enough to allow
you to get to the specified safe distance.
Those setting them off should wear protective gloves and goggles.
Keep fireworks away from children
It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to be in possession of adult fireworks. There are
four categories of fireworks: F1 ‘indoor’ can be bought by those aged 16 years and over; F2
and F3 “adult” can be bought by over 18’s and F4 are for professional use only.
Many of the problems caused by fireworks are the result of irresponsible and inconsiderate
misuse by children who get hold of fireworks through illicit means. Do your best to ensure
that any under-18s in your care do not have access to fireworks.
As with all age-restricted products, failure to comply with the law is a criminal offence which
could carry criminal sanctions.
Attend an organized display
The best advice is to save yourself the trouble and expense and attending an organized
display instead. At such events, spectators are kept at a safe distance while qualified
individuals do the work, minimising risk for everyone.
More importantly, it is likely to be a better experience for you and any firework-loving
The key things to remember are as follows:
• Enjoy fireworks responsibly – attend organised displays where possible, or strictly
follow the instructions when holding your own displays
• Always buy from legitimate, licensed sellers (not from social media users selling from home).
• Never let children handle fireworks
• Be considerate of others and observe curfews and restrictions
• Keep pets safe and secure when using fireworks
• Fireworks are dangerous
• Never handle fireworks
• Always stay with a responsible adult while watching fireworks