“Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I would like to make the following request for information relating to any restrictions of fireworks by your local authority.
1. Does the local authority impose any restrictions on the sale, possession and use of fireworks?
Yes, we impose restrictions in relation to the sale and storage of fireworks in line with the relevant national legislation
2. If yes, what restrictions are in place and which local byelaw (/ legal mechanism) does it fall under?
Sale – The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 prohibit the supply of category F4 fireworks to the general public. The Regulations prohibit the supply of category F2 (outdoor use – confined areas) and category F3 (outdoor use – large open areas) fireworks to any person under 18. The Regulations prohibit the supply of category F1 (indoor use low-hazard low-noise – party poppers etc) fireworks to any person under 16. An exception is made for Christmas crackers, which must not be supplied to any person under 12. Caps for toy guns are exempt from fireworks legislation.
Where adult (categories F2 and F3) fireworks are supplied or exposed for supply in any premises, the Fireworks Regulations 2004 require a notice to be displayed in a prominent position in those premises, no less than 420mm by 297mm (A3), with letters no less than 16mm high, giving the following information: “IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL CATEGORY F2 FIREWORKS OR CATEGORY F3 FIREWORKS TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 TO POSSESS CATEGORY F2 FIREWORKS OR CATEGORY F3 FIREWORKS IN A PUBLIC PLACE”
Unless the retailer holds a separate all year sales licence, adult fireworks can only be sold by licenced premises during the following periods:
- 15 October to 10 November.
- 26 December to 31 December.
- On the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it.
- On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it.
Storage – Safe storage of explosives is covered by the Explosives Regulations 2014. To store more than 5kg and less than 2,000kg net explosive content (NEC) of adult fireworks, applicants need to apply to their local authority for a licence. The local authority can provide them with an application form, which should be completed and returned with the fee, a site plan and, where relevant, a floor plan. The application form requires that applicants state the ‘hazard type’ and amount of explosive content that they intend to store. Fireworks are divided into four hazard types (HT1, 2, 3 and 4) for storage licensing purposes. HT1 and 2 are not suitable for retail storage and the amount of HT3 and HT4 is restricted, depending on separation distances from other buildings, public places and suitability of location.
The Health and Safety Executive provides guidance regarding the legislation and safe storage provisions
3. Who within the local authority is responsible for enforcing this?
Devon, Somerset & Torbay Trading Standards Service, for storage of types and amounts of explosives within the remit of a local authority.
4. How many complaints has the council received in relation to fireworks in the last 3 years: 2017, 2016 and 2015
2015 – 6 complaints
2016 – 6 complaints
2017 – 7 complaints
Restrictions on sky lanterns and balloon releases:
5. Does the local authority impose any restrictions on the use of sky, or Chinese lanterns, and balloons on land controlled by the local authority?
Devon County Council does not currently impose any restrictions on the use of sky, or Chinese lanterns and balloons on land controlled by the local authority
6. If yes, what restrictions are in place?” Not applicable.