New Years Eve – how late can you set off fireworks?

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New Year’s Eve is often the perfect opportunity to enjoy stunning displays of fireworks up and down the country, though this year will look a little different. Despite no new Covid restrictions having been implemented in the run up to December 31, announcements made earlier in the year saw many major displays cancelled. With the world-famous London firework display cancelled for the second year in a row, households across the UK are set to opt for their own garden displays – these are the rules you should know.

What time do fireworks have to stop?

Setting off fireworks from your property is legal in the UK and is often done to celebrate a number of yearly traditions or events.

Current guidance on the use of fireworks restricts the use of pyrotechnics in the street or other places to reasonable hours of the night.

According to Gov.uk: “The Law says 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.”

The exception to the 11pm-7am curfew is applied to Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.

Fireworks can be set off until the later time of 1am on the following dates:

  • New Year’s Eve (December 31)
  • Diwali
  • Chinese New Year

On Bonfire Night, fireworks should not continue beyond midnight.

What time do fireworks have to stop?
Setting off fireworks from your property is legal in the UK and is often done to celebrate a number of yearly traditions or events.
Current guidance on the use of fireworks restricts the use of pyrotechnics in the street or other places to reasonable hours of the night.
According to Gov.uk: “The Law says 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.”

Who can buy fireworks in the UK?

Firework sales in the UK are restricted to people above the age of 16 and 18 depending on the category of firework which is being purchased.

The sale of fireworks is governed by The Fireworks Regulations 2004 and The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations, 2015.

Both of these laws state that: “Anyone over 18 can buy, carry or use category one, two and three fireworks.”

Anyone over the age of 16 can also buy, carry or use category one fireworks.

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Restrictions are different for each category of fireworks, which are as follows:

Category one – indoor fireworks which are safe for use in extremely restricted areas

Category two – garden fireworks which must be safely viewable from five metres away and must not scatter debris beyond a three metre range

Category three – display fireworks which must be safely viewable from 25 metres away and must not scatter any debris beyond a 20 metre range

Category four fireworks are for professional use only and are banned from public sales.

Will fireworks be banned?

Calls to ban fireworks in the UK have accelerated in recent years, sparking non-sale pledges across a number of major retailers.

Concerns over the anti-social behaviour and environmental issues associated with pyrotechnics have been the driving force for petitions to ban sales.

The welfare of pets is just one reason for ongoing petitions to limit the use of fireworks.

Despite increasing opposition to the use of fireworks at home, there has been no movement just yet with regards to the Government making any changes.

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