In Regulations made under the Fireworks Act 2003 it is an offence for the under 18s to be sold fireworks or to possess fireworks in a public place. It is also an offence for anyone to let fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am). The Regulations place restrictions on the time of year fireworks can be sold by unlicensed suppliers and the sale and use of certain excessively loud fireworks. The Regulations banned the sale of Category 4 fireworks to the public (although these can still be seen at displays) and limited the sizes of certain category 2 and 3 fireworks that can be supplied. Fireworks of category 1, 2 and 3 must now conform to BS7114 1988

It is an offence under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875 to throw or set off fireworks in any highway, street, thoroughfare or public place. The power to enforce this section of the Act rests with the police. The act also states that the manufacture and dismantling of fireworks should only take place in a licensed factory although preparation, assembly, disassembly and fusing of firework displays can take place at the place of intended use without a license.

Under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animals. The penalty on conviction is either imprisonment up to 51 weeks or a fine of up to 20,000 or both. Enforcement of this section of the Act rests with Trading Standards, the Police or the RSPCA as appropriate.

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsidiary legislation covers firework displays which involve a work activity (i.e. where at least one person will be involved on a professional basis). This legislation places duties on organisers to safeguard the Health and Safety of everyone involved in arranging and giving the display, including spectators and other people near the display site.


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