Fireworks storage licensing

Law on fireworks

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.