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Fireworks are part of enjoying celebrations such as Bonfire Night or New Year. The safest way to enjoy them is to go to a professionally organised event, but this page also gives useful advice on using them at home and putting on a small display.

Fireworks at Home

You should always consider your own and others' safety when arranging your own home firework display. Always follow the Firework Code if you buy fireworks, and make sure they comply with BS 7114 and are clearly marked for their intended use 'Indoor, Garden or Display'.

Despite annual safety warnings, Bonfire Night week still ends in disaster for far too many families. Fireworks can provide fun and entertainment, but only if everyone follows the right safety procedures and remembers that fireworks can be very dangerous if misused.


  • Always keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin;
  • Always use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately;
  • Always read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp never use a naked flame;
  • Always light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter;
  • Always stand well back and never return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face;
  • Always take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished;
  • Always ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised; and
  • Always keep all pets and animals indoors.


  • Never put fireworks in your pocket;
  • Never throw fireworks;
  • Never use a naked flame - use a torch or hand lamp instead; and
  • Never return to a firework after it has been lit

Further useful information on firework safety can be found on Your Guide to a Safer Event and on the RoSPA Safer Fireworks website.

Remember to be careful with bonfires too. It's often better to manage without one, but if you have one make sure it's well away from your house and any trees, hedges, fences or sheds. Remember, never use a flammable liquid like petrol or paraffin to get one going. If lighting your bonfire is difficult, use only domestic firelighters to help. Check very carefully that there's no animal or even a young child hidden inside the bonfire.

Organised Firework Displays

Professionally organised displays will be regulated either by your local authority or by the Health and Safety Executive. For smaller displays, 'Organising Firework Displays' gives very good advice. The HSE have also produced more comprehensive guidance for firework organisers. 'Giving your own firework display: How to run and fire it Safely' is available to download for free.

Fireworks and Nuisance

The Fireworks Regulations 2004  created a curfew on the use of adult fireworks. It is an offence to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on November 5 (midnight), New Years Eve (1am), Chinese New Year (1am) and Diwali Night (1am).

It is a criminal offence to throw or discharge a firework in a street or public place. Further information on Police enforcement may be found at the Police website.

Remember that pets are frightened of fireworks - always keep them indoors. You can download a leaflet Fireworks and Pets in PDF format from the Blue Cross website.

Retailers selling fireworks must be registered Hampshire Trading Standards who investigate problems with unsafe products.

Please contact the Police on 101 if fireworks cause a problem outside the above hours. Contact the Environmental Health (Environmental Protection ) team at if fireworks cause a continual problem during the above hours.



Updated: 25 Jan 2019
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