How Setting Off Fireworks At The Wrong Time Can Land You A £5k Fine
After a long weekend of firework activities, Bonfire Night is finally here - but if you're planning your own display be warned: you might end up with a hefty fine or even prison time.
If you don't follow government guidelines (one of which states you are only allowed to set off fireworks on November 5th between 7am and midnight on your own property - who knew?) you could end up facing a £5,000 penalty.
When can I set fireworks off?
As per the guidelines, make sure all your guests are in place between 7am and midnight.
While darkness proves the best backdrop to light up the sky, it's good to know that anytime past midnight you can be at risk of a maximum fine of £5,000 or imprisoned for six months.
Any other evenings you're limited to between 7am and 11pm.
On New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year the cut off is a little later at 1am.
Where can I set off fireworks?
The law states that it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.
The same maximum fine of £5,000 or six months imprisonment is a penalty or an on-the-spot fine.
It is also an offence to set off fireworks from your private garden into a public area.
For further rules regarding setting off fireworks Gov.uk advises you to check your local council.
If you rent a property check your tenancy agreement as it is likely to prohibit the use of fireworks.
Where can I buy fireworks?
You must be 18 to buy 'adult' fireworks and they must be from a registered seller.
When shopping for 'Adult' fireworks they fall under category F2 and F3 and are on sale to the general public - they don't include things like party poppers which fall under category F1 and can be used indoors.
F2 and F3 are intended for public use, with F2 requiring a smaller distance of between 8-12 metres and F3 the greater distance of 25 metres. Category F4 fireworks are for professional use only.
Fireworks for the general public are also only available between certain calendar dates for private use.
Registered sellers like supermarkets stock them between 15th October to 10th November in the lead up to Bonfire Night, 26th to 31st December for Christmas and New Year's Eve.
As Diwali and Chinese New Year fall on different dates each year, the law states fireworks are available three days before each.