Fireworks

Safety and noise advice for event organisers and households

Every year injuries occur and property is damaged due to unsupervised or poorly organised firework displays. Noise from fireworks and firework displays can have significant impact on vulnerable people and pets.

If you run an event where you invite the public you may also need to have insurances in place and complete risk assessments to ensure you, your helpers or staff and the public are safe. For support about health and safety for events, please visit the Health and Safety Executive website.

If you wish to host a large bonfire and fireworks where public attend please read our Fireworks and bonfire guidance (.pdf | 1mb) and complete the Fireworks registration scheme (.pdf | 1mb) at least eight weeks prior to the event taking place. Return your completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

People who misuse fireworks, could face fines or possible court action. The police and council have powers to issue fines of up to £100 to those who flout the rules and are involved in anti-social behaviour. Sales of fireworks are controlled and Derbyshire County Council licence and register different types of sellers.

When can fireworks be sold and set off?

Fireworks cannot be let off between 11pm and 7am except on:

  • Bonfire Night (5 November), when the cut off is midnight;
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

To buy fireworks at other times, you must go to specially licensed shops. Derbyshire County Council licence sellers and more information can be found on their website.

Most shops have only been given permission to sell fireworks on or between these dates:

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

Store your fireworks safely

In a closed box, somewhere cool and dry, out of reach of children and animals, until the time they’re needed. Locked away is best. Don’t keep the box under the stairs or in a passageway.

Think ahead and be prepared

Before you start, make sure you’ll be giving yourself enough room in a safe place to get to and from your box of fireworks while the display’s going on. Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and for putting used sparklers into. If you have the chance to get together with some other families, try to go to the home with the biggest garden and safest surrounding.

Things not to do:

  • Never try to re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
  • Never give any firework item to small children
  • Never throw fireworks at another person
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers
  • Never experiment, modify, or attempt to make your own fireworks

You (or another adult that you choose) must be the only person letting off fireworks. Let the fireworks off one at a time (not lots at once) and don’t rush. Light the top of each firework at arm’s length, using a fireworks lighter or fuse wick. Stand well back immediately

If one doesn’t go off, don’t go back to it – it could still be live, and could go off unexpectedly in your face. Right at the end of your fireworks night, douse the ‘dud’ with lots of water, keep it soaking in a bucket of water and ask the fire service for advice as soon as possible.

Read the instructions on each one carefully (by flashlight, never an open flame) and follow them properly. Rockets, for instance, should be launched from a rocket launcher, not from a bottle.

Sparklers need careful handling – light them one at a time at arm’s length, don’t give one to any child under 5, make sure that anyone holding a sparkler wears gloves and put each spent one into a bucket of water as soon as it’s gone out.

Throwing fireworks is dangerous and illegal, it’s a criminal offence to do so.

Pets

Pets get very frightened on fireworks night, so keep all your pets indoors and close all the curtains to make things calmer. Remember it’s not just your own fireworks that cause distress, so you may have to have your pets indoors on several nights when other displays are taking place.

For more information and support, the RSPCA have detailed advice on their website.


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