Fireworks at home

Fireworks come in four categories - F1, F2, F3 and F4 - depending on their type,  purpose and how hazardous they could potentially be. Broadly speaking the categories could be described as Indoor, Garden, Display and Professional.

Who can buy fireworks?

You must be at least 18 years old to buy ‘adult’ fireworks - that is, categories F2 and F3. Find out more about age related products here.

Members of the public can not buy category F4 fireworks.

Consumers have a right to be protected from unsafe products. Find out more about product safety here.

When can you buy fireworks?

You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use from:

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

At other times you can only buy fireworks from specialist, licensed shops.

When can you let off fireworks?

Fireworks can only be let off between 7am and 11pm, except on certain occasions:

  • Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

Organising an event

If you would like to organise a fireworks display please find out more about what you will need to consider on our Events page here.

What can't you do with fireworks?

The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

Newcastle's Bylaws also have a specific reference to fireworks in places of entertainment. You can read the bylaw here.

Sky lanterns

Sky lanterns, also called Chinese lanterns, consist of paper and a wire or bamboo frame with an open flame.

They have grown in popularity for night time events, but as they can float for miles and it is impossible to control where they will eventually land, they pose a number of potential hazards.

Advice and guidance is available on our Sky Lanterns and Helium Balloons page here.

Fireworks misuse

You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot £90 fixed penalty notice.

Fixed penalty notices for firework offences are issued by police and are called penalty notices for disorder.

To report firework issues such as noise nuisance, please contact Northumbria Police.

Why isn't the sale of fireworks to the public banned?

On November 5 2019 the House of Commons Petitions Committee’s published a report following its inquiry into issues surrounding the sale and use of fireworks.

The report recommended, and the Government agreed, that it was not appropriate to ban the public from buying and using fireworks at this time, as it would not be a proportionate measure before other, less drastic but potentially more effective, options have been fully explored.

Read the report's fill recommendations, and the Government's response to them, here.

 

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