Fireworks safety advice

If you're planning on hosting a fireworks party "be safe, not sorry" and keep it free from accidents by following the Fireworks Code.

It's illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am).

It's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.

Firework Safety Code

  • Ideally attend an organised display

  • Fireworks must not be sold to any person under the age of 18

  • Buy fireworks marked UKCA or CE

  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and use them one at a time

  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework

  • Light the fireworks at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back

  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit

  • Never put fireworks in your pocket

  • Never throw fireworks

  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves

  • Keep a bucket of water nearby at all times

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury

  • Keep pets indoors

Other Safety Tips

  • Buy fireworks from a reputable retailer

  • Always supervise children around fireworks

  • Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5

  • Prepare for the party in advance, and in daylight. On the night you will need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection and gloves, a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in and suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets

  • Leave the lighting of fireworks to responsible adults only

Fireworks Amnesty

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service runs a fireworks amnesty with the aim to drive down firework related accidents and keep Greater Manchester safe during the Bonfire period. The amnesty allows members of the public wishing to dispose of fireworks to do so safely.

Contact the Fire Service on 0800 555 815 to have fireworks safely collected.

Disposal of fireworks

If you are hosting a fireworks display, follow these steps to dispose of your used fireworks safely.
• Get a bucket of water ready before you start your display
• Soak your used fireworks for at least 15 minutes, overnight if possible
• Wrap your soaked fireworks in a plastic bag
• Put it in your general waste bin or take it to your local Recycling Centre

Misuse of fireworks 

As the licensing authority for the Explosives Regulations 2014 and the Firework Regulations 2004, GMFRS works closely with Trading Standards and Greater Manchester Police to help tackle anti-social behaviour caused by the misuse of fireworks.

During the Halloween and Bonfire period GMFRS will be carrying out inspections of some premises to ensure they are complying with the legislation and any specific conditions of the licence.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services has powers to take action against businesses in relation to:

  • Sales outside the defined selling periods

  • Storage without a licence

  • Storage of explosives not in accordance with the licence

  • Underage sales signage

  • Failure of supplier to keep records

  • Sales of over 50kg NEC without validating storage licence

Greater Manchester Police and Trading Standards also have enforcement powers in relation to fireworks.

Greater Manchester Police will take action in relation to:

  • Possession of Cat 4 fireworks

  • Possession of fireworks by under 18s

  • Selling in the street/car boot sales

  • Misuse of fireworks in public places

  • Use during curfew hours (11pm to 7am) with the exception of:

    • 5 November – midnight

    • Diwali – 1am

    • New Year’s Eve – 1am

    • Chinese New Year – 1am

Trading Standards has enforcement powers in relation to:

  • Sales of adult fireworks to under 18s

  • Excessively loud fireworks

  • Illegal fireworks and fireworks not conforming to UKCA or CE markings

If you have any concerns about the storage, sale or use of fireworks, please report them to the relevant authority.

Find out more about the safe storage and use of fireworks and explosives.