03 November 2015
Fireworks: The Laws, Facts and Realities
In the wrong hands, fireworks can result in serious injuries. Fireworks are also seen as fun and a tradition, taking us back to our childhoods every fifth of November. No doubt you have seen or heard warnings before about the dangers of fireworks, so instead we’ve provided the facts for you to see for yourself.
What are the Laws for Fireworks?
There are several laws governing the underage or illegal purchasing of fireworks, but when it comes to using fireworks the rules are as follows:
- You must not throw or set off fireworks, including sparklers, in public areas, including streets, parks, and any other area open to the public.
- It is against the law to set off fireworks between the hours of 11pm and 7am, with the exception of Bonfire Night when the cut off time is midnight, and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year when the cut off is at 1am.
Do You Need a Permit or Training for Fireworks?
No, and for those unfortunate to have been injured by fireworks, it may be seen as regrettable that there is no such legislation.
It is not a legal requirement to have any licence or training to use fireworks, though when an event with a larger firework display is insured, training may be a requirement of the underwriters.
Remember, the laws are in place in the interest of safety and public disturbance. You can be fined up to £5,000 and/ or imprisoned up to six months for using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.
Fireworks, Facts and Figures
Fireworks are explosives, yet to some they are considered a toy. On Autumn nights throughout Halloween and bonfire night when the sky is filled with fireworks it is perhaps not always apparent exactly how hazardous they can be. For example, sparklers, which are usually considered safe for children, can become five times hotter than cooking oil.
The truth is that the majority of firework-related injuries occur at private parties. Approximately half of all firework-related injuries happen to children under the age of 17, and are most commonly injuries to the hand, eyes and face. Around 1,000 people are treated for injuries caused by fireworks every year in the UK.
If purchasing fireworks, make sure that they have the ‘CE’ mark, which means that they have met with European safety standards. Before putting on your own firework display, take a look at our quick, informative safety guide to handling fireworks and making a bonfire.
If you are injured on an accident involving fireworks through no fault of your own you may be able to make a personal injury claim. For legal advice about claiming compensation, call Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 112 4489 or contact us online.