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Fireworks and the law

If you plan to set off fireworks on Bonfire Night, make sure you and your children are aware of the law.

The law

  • It is illegal for under 18’s to buy fireworks, shops should refuse to sell to people under 18 and ask for proof of age if there is any doubt.
  • It is against the law to carry or use adult fireworks if you are under 18. An adult firework is any firework except a cap, cracker snap, novelty match, party popper, serpent, sparkler or throw down.
  • Under the Explosives Act of 1875, it is illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place.
  • It is illegal to sell fireworks form unregistered/licensed premises.
  • Don’t light fireworks after 11pm or midnight on 5 November, 1am on New Year’s Eve, Diwali or Chinese New Year.
  • No one of any age should be in possession of a category four firework unless you are a professional display organiser.

Between 2000 and 2005, 6,637 people were injured by fireworks and needed hospital treatment, in the same period two people died as result. Around half of all injuries happen to children under the age of 16.

If anyone believes they have information about the illegal sale, use or possession of fireworks, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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