The law on fireworks
The Firework Regulations 2004 means
- No one under 18 can possess fireworks
- Fireworks cannot be used between (11pm until 7am) except on certain festivals:
- Until 12 midnight on the 5th November
- Until 1am for the night of Chinese New Year
- Until 1am on the night of Diwali
- Until 1am on New Year’s Eve
You can store fireworks for your own use for up to 14 days so long as they are kept in a safe place.
For more information about fireworks can be found on the government website with information about celebrating bonfire night.
Fireworks in your garden
Be considerate to your neighbours
- Tell your neighbours - especially the elderly and those with children and pets that you plan to have fireworks.
- When you buy fireworks, avoid really noisy ones. Your supplier should be able to tell you what ones they are.
- Make sure pets and other animals are safely away from fireworks
- Do not let off fireworks in poor weather such as when it is very windy.
- Let off your fireworks in an open garden area as noise bounces off buildings and smoke and pollution build up in enclosed spaces as well
- If a neighbour complains that you are disturbing them, their pets, or livestock, be considerate
- After your display clear up firework and rubbish and dispose of it safely
- Return to a firework once you have lit it. It could go off and injure you
- Throw fireworks
- Put fireworks in your pocket
- Play with fireworks
- Ever give sparklers to very young children
Make sure that you always
- Keep fireworks in a closed box
- Follow the instructions carefully
- Light the firework fuse at arm’s length
- Stand well back
- Keep pets indoors
- Wear gloves when holding sparklers
- Put used sparklers in water
- Keep a bucket of sand or means to put out fireworks
- Before lighting a bonfire check to make sure no hedgehogs are hibernating
Anti-social behaviour and fireworks
Anti- social behaviour and fireworks will be dealt with by Essex Police who can issue a fixed penalty notice for the following
- Setting off or throwing fireworks in the street
- Breach of curfew times
- Underage possession of fireworks
- Offences against animals (RSPCA also deal with these types of offences) RSPCA 24 Cruelty Advice line Tel: 0300 1234 999
Noise from fireworks
The council is not able to deal with noise from Fireworks under Statutory noise nuisance law. It is very difficult to prove where the fireworks are coming from to be able to evidence which property is causing the noise nuisance. Fireworks do not normally last long enough to be witnessed for the evidence needed for a Statutory noise nuisance.
See our noise nuisance page for more advice.
Fireworks and animals/pets
The RSPCA gives good advice for pet owners and animals
To report animal cruelty, call the RSPCA 24hr Cruelty Advice Line
Phone 0300 1234 999
Selling and storage of fireworks
Essex County Council Trading Standards deal with complaints in relation to the selling and storage of fireworks
For advice contact the Citizens advice Consumer help line who work in partnership with Essex county Council: phone: 03454 040506 or visit their website Essex trading standards
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) provide advice about holding an organised display, inappropriate storage of Fireworks and safety information - HSE fireworks
You can also get advice from ROSPA Royal Society Prevention of Accidents