Avoid replacing professional displays with dangerous fireworks at home, councils and fire services warn

“The safest option this year would be to give fireworks a miss and find a different way of celebrating, but we know many will want to have a home display. If they do it is vital that they are familiar with the Firework Code and ensure they purchase legal and safe fireworks.”


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Anyone planning a home display must avoid buying fireworks from unlicensed and potentially unsafe illegal outlets, such as through social media, car boot sales or from vehicles or private houses.

With many professional, public displays cancelled because of the pandemic, the Local Government Association - which represents councils and fire and rescue authorities across England - said people should only buy fireworks from licensed retailers and store them securely to avoid risks to life and property.

As well as ensuring fireworks purchased are safe and legal, the LGA said people should check their local fire service’s Fireworks Code before lighting anything to celebrate Bonfire Night and Diwali in the coming weeks.

People must also remember check the COVID-19 government guidelines in their area around social gatherings if they plan to host or visit a home display, as this may not be possible.

Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said:

“We know this year is very different to most and in the absence of public firework displays, people will want to recreate one at home, but it is so important that fireworks are treated with respect and handled safely.

“The safest option this year would be to give fireworks a miss and find a different way of celebrating, but we know many will want to have a home display. If they do it is vital that they are familiar with the Firework Code and ensure they purchase legal and safe fireworks.”

Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Fireworks can be dangerous and we know that illegal fireworks increase the risk of them causing life-changing injuries. If people plan on putting on a home display, it is vital that they buy their fireworks from reputable and licensed sellers.

“Fireworks should be checked to confirm that they have the CE safety mark on them and then used in appropriate settings in accordance with the safety instructions.

“Sellers should also make sure they’re selling to over-18s otherwise they increase the risk of anti-social behaviour and serious injury. Not only that, but they could face a hefty fine and even a prison sentence if caught selling to a minor.”

Notes to editors

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Firework Code is available to read and anyone who suspects someone is selling fireworks illegally should contact their local council’s Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.