Some of us may be old enough to remember when fireworks were a once a year treat on Bonfire Night. These days it’s not just the Fifth of November we remember with rockets and bangers but Diwali, New Year and solstices, not to mention private weddings and parties. Who doesn’t love a firework display?

You can read about some of the world’s best here.  Palm Jumeirah and World Islands, for instance, had an awe-inspiring show with over 479,000 shells on the two artificial islands. The display lasted just 6 minutes, a rate of over 1000 shells per second!

It’s hard to compete with the really extravagant public displays and ‘home fireworks’ can seem a bit dull in comparison, but the law takes them just as seriously.

The law

The law is quite specific about the use of fireworks in private or public places.

It says that you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places. You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight or New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

The good news is that unplanned  displays are unlikely as you can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from licensed shops for most of the year. Other sellers are only allowed to stock them at  certain times of the year:

  • 15 October to 10 November
  • 26 to 31 December
  • 3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

There may also be local council restrictions. If you or one of your neighbours’ in the building wants to use fireworks at a party, it’s worth double checking. Find out who your local authority is here.

Lease covenants for your building may also forbid the use of fireworks on or near the building, so double check that too.

Primarily, be cautious and aware of when displays are likely.  Last year we reported on a flat that was gutted after a stray firework went through an open window.

It’s a good idea to close windows completely and clear balconies of flammable materials on festival nights especially if local displays are planned. Do remind elderly or less able people in the building to do the same.

Above all – enjoy the show!




Please be aware that the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are for information and guidance only.  Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Deacon accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.  Any links provided were live at the date of publication.