The following summarises the law governing fireworks:
- to sell or store fireworks you must be licensed
- fireworks must not be supplied to persons under the age of 18
- it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess certain fireworks in a public place
- it is an offence to keep fireworks – except those for private use – on premises not registered or licensed for that purpose
- it is an offence to throw or discharge a firework in a street or public place
The following fireworks must not be supplied to the general public:
- aerial shells, aerial maroons, shells-in-mortar and maroons-in-mortar
- all bangers, including 'batteries' containing bangers, such as Chinese crackers
- mini rockets
- fireworks with erratic flight, for example ground spinners, jumping crackers, squibs
For all fireworks:
- packets of sparklers must carry additional warnings – for example, "Warning: not to be given to children under five years of age"
- retail boxes of fireworks must not be split
- all fireworks intended for use by the general public must comply with the relevant standard
- all fireworks not suitable for use by the general public to bear the warning, "This device must not be sold to, or used by, a member of the general public"
Go to Essex Police: fireworks for more information.
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000 or a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.