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If you sell fireworks you have certain obligations to the public and your staff.

Do I need a licence or registration to store fireworks?

For almost all retailers, you will need a licence. You will need to apply to West Midlands Fire Service.

If you are storing small quantities at home you do not need a licence, but you should still follow the safety and use guidance.

Are there different categories of fireworks?

There are four categories of fireworks. The Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 (as amended) specify those which may be supplied to the general public. All other fireworks may only be supplied to a restricted range of persons and organisations which are specified in the 1997 Regulations.

When can I sell fireworks?

The periods where selling fireworks without a sales licence is permitted are:

  • Guy Fawkes - from 15 October and ending on 10 November
  • New Year - from 26 December and ending on 31 December
  • Chinese New Year - the first day and the three days immediately preceding it
  • the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it

How should I sell fireworks?

Fireworks should be sold in manufacturers' packed sets. The contents of these must not be taken out of their packs and sold separately. Only some sparklers and some larger individual devices may be sold unpacked.

How should fireworks be stored and displayed?

Please note - you must take special precautions if you share a building with flats or maisonettes. Please contact us or West Midlands Fire Service for more information.

Your firework supplier is also a useful source of information and advice

What else do I need to know when buying, selling or supplying fireworks?

Before you can supply or transfer more than 50kg net of fireworks to someone, that person must show you a valid registration or licence.

Licensing authorities may request to see information about firework transactions exceeding 50kg net explosive content, in particular, the date that the fireworks were supplied, the date that the supplier supplied to another person, or proposed to supply and the total weight.

What special fire precautions are needed?

Your premises should already meet various fire regulations. What follows is extra advice for the period while you are selling fireworks and is not a complete statement of your obligations.

  • Don't store fireworks in passageways or under stairs and keep these clear at all times. Don't obstruct any doors
  • Keep water-type fire extinguishers handy and make sure they are properly maintained. Buckets of water or sand are useful as a standby
  • Make sure you (and any staff) know how to call the Fire Service quickly. Have a display notice that tells everyone what to do if there is a fire
  • If someone suspects a fire, get everyone out of your shop and call the Fire Service immediately. As soon as the Fire Officer arrives, tell him or her that fireworks are involved and explain where and how the fireworks are stored

Fireworks safety

You should display safety leaflets and posters featuring the Firework Code alongside the fireworks, ensuring your customers get essential safety advice.

Remember the age limit for buying fireworks. Don’t sell to anyone under 18. Anti-social behaviour with fireworks can be a problem.

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