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Firework Control Laws 20 December 2004

New laws to crackdown on the use of fireworks came into force on 19th December 2004. The changes aim to improve safety and crackdown on anti-social behaviour. The measures introduce important control over the sale and use of one or more fireworks and will solve some of the problems caused by the indiscriminate use of fireworks.

It is now illegal to let off a firework outside the period surrounding bonfire night and the New Year without notifying the Department of Home Affairs and the public first. Anyone wanting to let off a firework will have to notify the Department of the time, date and location of where the firework(s) will be let off and put a public notice in the paper. The notification must be submitted to the Department on a prescribed form as soon as possible and in any event no later than 21 days before the firework(s) are to be discharged.

The Department will then contact the Police and the Fire and Rescue Service, with details of the display. The Joint Emergency Services Control Room will also be informed just in case a member of the public reports an incident in the area of the notified display.

The period surrounding bonfire night and the New Year is more specifically defined as:

  • the period beginning on the 25th October and ending on the 7th November
  • the period beginning on the 26th December and ending on the 1st January

Home Affairs Minister Phil Braidwood said:

"We hope that this new legislation will provide balance to the situation - allowing people to have fun and enjoy fireworks, while cracking down on anti-social behaviour."

People who use one or more fireworks outside the prescribed times without notifying the Department could receive a fine of up to £2,500.

The changes also include a restriction on the supply of a firework outside similar periods.

There are a number of exemptions to the requirements of the Act including public authorities putting on a firework display and Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

Some indoor fireworks and sparklers are exempt from the Act and therefore can be used at any time.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information can contact the Department on 01624 623355; email or visit the Head Office at Homefield, 88 Woodbourne Road, Douglas.

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