Firework Safety and FAQs

Fireworks Safety

We at the Fireworks Den encourage a safe and responsible understanding of fireworks and their use. As a result, we have written a safety guide for all of our customers to refer to when storing, handling and using our range of fireworks.

Before the display

  • Read all of the instructions for each firework. Ensure that you store your fireworks in a cool, dry place, well away from any sources of ignition.
  • Ensure that all fireworks are separated from their respective packaging. Remember that they are delicate, so handle them with care.
  • Never smoke when handling fireworks
  • When unpacking the fireworks, ensure that you do so in a safe environment, away from any sources of ignition.

Considering your site

The first thing to consider is ensuring that your fireworks are a safe distance from your spectators, and any hazards such as buildings, trees or overhead power lines. Most fireworks require a minimum safe distance of 25 metres. However, this is a minimum distance, hence we would recommend that you keep your firing site as far from the crowd as practically possible.

It is also important to bear in mind where the debris from your fireworks will land (debris being burning embers and rocket sticks). A clear area behind the firing site separating you from the crowd should be retained in order for the debris to fall to the ground safely. Also think about the prevailing wind direction – try to place your audience upwind of the firing site.

Access and exit points for the site should be clearly marked and easily accessible, not just for the audience but also for the emergency services. Remember that it is the organisers responsibility to ensure the safety of the crowd, so make sure that all entrances and exits are well lit and far enough away from the firing area.

Lastly, if you are organising an event in which members of the general public will attend, then you should consider your public liability. Speak with your insurance provider for more information regarding this.

Your Display

  • All persons responsible for firing the displays should be familiar with the firing order and know exactly which fireworks they are responsible for lighting
  • You should ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the display area and, if necessary, appoint a steward for this purpose
  • Under no circumstances should any person under the influence of drugs or alcohol be involved in the handling or firing of fireworks
  • Never aim fireworks across the crowd
  • Keep set pieces at least 10ft apart in order to avoid cross ignition
  • Make sure to wear the appropriate clothing when handling and lighting the fireworks, e.g. heat resistant gloves, safety goggles, non-flammable clothing
  • Children must be kept under adult supervision at all times
  • Never leave any fireworks unattended
  • Should any firework fail to ignite, DO NOT APPROACH FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES after the display has finished and then dowse in water or dry powder and leave for 24 hours where possible

Fireworks FAQs

Here you can find a selection of Frequently Asked Questions that we thought pertinent to include. Of course, if you cannot find your answer here, then please call us on 0800 954 920 to speak with a member of our expert team.

Q. When can I use fireworks?

A. Fireworks can be used every day of the year between the hours of 7am and 11pm. The following dates have extended times:

  • Bonfire Night (5th November) – 7am to Midnight
  • New Year (31st December) – 7am to 1am (1st January)
  • Chinese New Year – 7am to 1am
  • Dwali – 7am to 1am
Q. Are fireworks safe?
A. Fireworks are as safe as you make them. Read our safety page for more information. All instructions should be followed to ensure you are safe when using fireworks.
Q. Do I need a licence or special permission to light fireworks?
A. No, A private display needs no formalities. If you are putting on a public display, or are charging for entry, then you should follow all the published guidelines for an organised event.
Q. Do I need insurance?
A. Most good household policies will cover the risks associated with domestic fireworks. If in doubt, check with your insurance company. You will definitely need special cover if you run a public event.
Q. Can you post me my fireworks?
A. No, The royal mail service will not accept fireworks. Instead we have to use special carriers.
Q. Is my garden big enough?
A. Most of our fireworks are category 3. The recommended viewing distance is 25m. Some are category 2, for which the recommended viewing distance is 5m. Only categories 3 and 2 have any real relevance to consumer display fireworks. If your garden is particularly narrow or has overhanging trees, you shoud choose your firework accordingly. Speak to our experts if you require advice on this matter.
Q. What is the difference between category 2 and 3 fireworks? Do you sell category 4?
A. Category 2 fireworks only require 5m viewing distance. These are great for small gardens with young spectators. Category 3 fireworks require 25m viewing distance. These are the more impressive domestic fireworks enjoyed by children and adults alike.  Category 4 fireworks require a special licence to use – these are the types of fireworks you will see during the official London New Year’s Eve displays. These are only used by pyrotechnic experts. We do not sell any category 4 fireworks.
Q. Why don’t you sell bangers/ jumping jacks?
A. Many types of fireworks which adults remember from their own childhood are not longer available either by law or by a voluntary agreement with the fireworks industry. This includes bangers, and as a general rule, fireworks of erratic flight.
Q. What is the difference between single ignition fireworks and barrages?
A. This is a common question, and a topic which confuses many people. Although both types of firework have a single fuse and fire multiple shots, there are some significant differences. A single igntion firework is designed by a firework manufacturer to provide an entire display – often with shots building up to a finale. There are many effects which can be fired from a single igntion firework. A barrage tends to be repeated shots with the same or similar effects. There are some larger barrages which will have a finale – and therefore the distinction between these and single igntions can be hard to make.
Q. How long to single igntion fireworks last?
A. Although a single ignition is essentially a display in one box, a public firework display will use more than one firework. The longest single ignition firework lasts approximately 3 minutes. Most people would therefore use multiple fireworks in order to make a more substantial display.
Q. Do you sell remote ignitors?
A. Remote ignitors can be used to link many fireworks to one fuse so that you can stand back, press a button light the fireworks from a distance. Here at Fireworks Den, we have chosen NOT to stock remote ignitors. There have been cases where these have failed, and resulted in people walking up to a firework to resolve the fault to resume the display. We would never suggest that you approach a firework when an attempt has been made to ignite the fuse. Instead, we would suggest that all fireworks are lit with portfires, and lit at arms length. Portfires are available for sale on this website with other firework accessories.