Firework advice for retailers

An image of some fireworks

PC Graham Yare giving message to retailer about firework laws

Guidance for Registered / Licensed Storage of Fireworks

The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 require anyone storing more than 5 kg nec (net explosive content) of fireworks to either register or obtain a licence from the local authority or fire authority.

Registration allows up to 250 kg nec of fireworks to be stored in a premises.

A licence allows up to 2,000 kg nec of fireworks to be stored in a premises.

Further information on the application process and fees is available from the local authority or fire service.

Legal Requirements

Fireworks can only be sold with a fireworks licence during the following periods:

  • November 5th (Between October 15 and November 10) 

  • New Year (Between December 26 and December 31) 

  • Chinese New Year (Between the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it) 

  • Diwali (Between the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it)

An extra fireworks licence is required to sell fireworks at any other time.Fireworks in the sky

Retailers must be registered or obtain a licence to store fireworks.

All fireworks for the public must comply with the British Standard (BS7114)

The Fireworks Safety Regulations 1997 prohibit the supply of fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.
Under the Fireworks Regulations 2004 retailers must display a notice with the following information:

  • It is illegal to sell adult fireworks & sparklers to anyone under the age of 18.

  • It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess adult fireworks in a public place.

General Precautions

  1. Fireworks should be kept in a dry storage place exclusively for that purpose and kept away from flammable materials, chemicals & other hazardous substances.

  2. Containers should be marked ‘Fireworks – Highly Flammable’ and access restricted from members of the public and supervised at all times.

  3. Keep fireworks in a suitable spark-proof container or a closed display cabinet, which prevent access to members of the public.

  4. No containers used for the storage of fireworks should be used for storing other goods.

  5. No Smoking notices should be displayed in the firework storage and sales area. Electrical sockets & fittings should be disconnected from supply if fitted in display cabinets or dummy fireworks used. In storerooms, electrical equipment should be removed (other than light fittings & fire detection equipment). A clear space should be left between the light fitting(s) & the fireworks.Fireworks

  6. Fireworks kept in a storeroom should be kept in their transportation boxes and closed again after removal of some of the goods.

  7. Where larger quantities of fireworks are permitted to be stored there should be a substantial barrier between fireworks & flammable items (e.g. a wall, or in larger shops/stores fireworks kept in original transportation boxes in small gauge wire cage in a separate demarcated area in storeroom.

  8. Where fireworks are stored on the shop floor keep the amount to a minimum and avoid excessive movement of fireworks between storage area and point of sale (No more than
    12.5 kg nec should be moved at any one time). 

  9. Space heaters are to be placed well away from fireworks and keep containers away from sources of ignition.

  10. Do not store fireworks in a shop window (use dummy boxes).

  11. Provide & maintain suitable water type portable fire extinguishers and ensure persons are trained to use them in the event of fire.

  12. Ensure all staff are clear on what action must be taken in the event of fire. The quickest way of calling the Fire Service and that staff and customers know how to evacuate the shop in an emergency. Display a conspicuous notice telling staff and others what to do in the event of a fire.

  13. Ensure persons are able to evacuate. You must not block exit escape routes with goods; keep clear at all times. Ensure fireworks are not stored in corridors or under stairways.

  14. Anyone who stores fireworks must take appropriate measures to prevent fire or explosion; limit the extent of fire or explosion and protect people from fire and explosion.

For full requirements you may need to adhere to for the storage of explosives please refer to

Please contact your Local Authority or Fire Service for further advice.