Fireworks and Bonfires: The Law

Firefighter with Policeman

For retailers

  • Fireworks can only be sold with a fireworks licence/registration on the first day of Diwali and three days immediately preceding it, from 15 October to 10 November and 26 December to 31 December.

  • An additional fireworks licence is required should you wish to sell fireworks at any other time.  Please contact Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for details on how to obtain one.

  • You must register or obtain a licence to store fireworks.

  • You must store fireworks safely.

  • You must display a large notice reminding customers about the law with regard to underage sales and possession.

  • You must not sell fireworks to anyone who is under 18 - even if they appear to be older (it is recommended that proof of age is sought).

  • You must not sell caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns to anyone who is under 16.

  • Boxes of fireworks must not be split and sold separately.

  • All fireworks for the public must be CE Marked).

  • If you don't comply with these rules you could be fined £5,000 or imprisoned for six months.

  • All fireworks not intended for supply to the general public (category 4) must indicate this by way of a mark.

  • All category 3 fireworks (display fireworks) must not exceed 120 decibels.

  • Licensing authorities can ask to see information relating to transactions of fireworks exceeding 50kg of net explosive content.


Suppliers of adult fireworks must display a notice stating that it is a criminal offence to supply adult fireworks to those under the age of eighteen, and for those under eighteen to possess such fireworks. Fireworks suppliers must provide a local licensing authority with information about fireworks in circumstances where the total net explosive content of fireworks supplied in a single transaction exceeds 50 kilograms.


Suppliers of adult fireworks are required to hold a licence, except at certain times of year. Tyne and Wear Fire and Civil Defence Authority grant licences. The Authority must refuse a licence unless the applicant complies with legal requirements concerning the keeping of fireworks, and may refuse a licence (or revoke a licence previously granted) if the applicant has committed any of the listed fireworks-related offences listed. The licence allows the holder to supply fireworks on the first day of the Chinese new year and three days immediately preceding it, on the first day of Diwali and three days immediately preceding it, from 15 October to 10 November and 26 December to 31 December. Traders wishing to supply at any other time must obtain a separate licence.

The Explosives Regulations 2014

New legislation relating to the storage of fireworks comes into force on the 01 October 2014. From this date all applications must be processed under the new regulations.

The Explosives Regulations 2014 have been produced to consolidate specific areas relating to the manufacture and storage for explosives and fireworks. This guidance replaces The Manufacture and Storage Regulations 2005.Guidance on the new legislation and how it will affect you, if you wish to store fireworks, together with a draft document providing guidance on the new regulations can be found at :