It’s that time again where we celebrate King James I having survived the Gunpowder Plot on his life by Guy Fawkes and his accomplices on 5th November 1605. Since then the celebrations have developed from being known as Gunpowder Treason Day, to the modern Guy Fawkes, Bonfire or Fireworks Night.
Just as the name has changed over time, so too has the law on this subject. It’s important that retailers and consumers familiarise themselves with the legislation fully as the following is only a quick guide.
To store or sell fireworks you must register or obtain a licence from Trading Standards and offer them for sale for a few weeks over the Bonfire Night period, namely 15th October to the 10th November. To sell fireworks at any other time of the year (other than at times of other celebrations), you need a licence from either the local council or the local fire service. To store or sell over 2000kg of fireworks, a licence is needed from the Health & Safety Executive. You must not sell fireworks to under 18’s and all fireworks must comply with British Safety Standards.
You must be over 18yrs to buy fireworks and they must be bought from registered sellers for private use on the dates mentioned above. Under 18’s cannot be in possession of a firework and they must not be set off or thrown in a public place, this attracts a fine of up to £5000, or an “on-the-spot” fine of £90. Always check you are buying fireworks certified as meeting the British Safety Standards (displayed on the packaging).
The Protection of Animals Act ensures that no unnecessary suffering is caused to our beloved pets by imposing up to a £5000 fine or six month’s imprisonment for offenders causing our four-legged friends harm.
The safest way to enjoy this occasion is to attend an organised display. If you are organising such an event, familiarise yourself with the rules and best practices to follow.
For full information and for help obtaining licences contact Jude Owen at Alison Fielden Solicitors on 01285 653261.