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The Explosives Act 1875 permits the storage of a limited quantity of fireworks/ explosives (5kg) for an unlimited period of time, or the storage of an unlimited quantity of fireworks for up to 14 days prior to their use.
It is generally taken that these provisions apply to 'private use', ie for use by the keeper or associates (eg. for a school bonfire) but not for sale. It also applies where local operators are storing fireworks prior to them firing a professional display.
Where a greater quantity of explosives is being stored, the premises needs to be registered with their local authority.
The Council registers premises (mainly retailers) for the keeping of fireworks, safety cartridges and/or mixed explosives. Registration runs annually from 1st April.
Different parts of explosives/firework law are enforced by various bodies:
The premises must be registered with the Council in the name of the occupier, either for 'Gunpowder' or 'Mixed Explosives', and the registration must be renewed annually.
Storage of ExplosivesWhere the premises registered for the keeping of explosives is a shop or other similar dwelling, the explosives shall be kept in Mode B ie. in a substantial receptacle, closed and secured so as to prevent access to unauthorised persons. This container must be exclusively appropriated to keeping explosives. The maximum quantity to be kept on such premises must not be more than 25kg. Please contact your local Trading Standards Department for further information.
Generally, storage of fireworks for retail sale would be in a Mode B store, for which the following applies:
There are two modes:
All due precautions must be taken to prevent accidents by fire or explosion. Fireworks must not be kept dangerously near to oils, paints, matches or any other article of a highly inflammable or explosive nature, and must not be kept in shop windows or on open shelves and counters. Empty boxes and dummy fireworks can be used for show purposes.
It is illegal to sell fireworks to any person apparently under the age of eighteen years.
Whenever an accident occurs by explosion or fire in registered premises, causing loss of life or personal injury, the occupier of the premises must notify the Health and Safety Executive|.
The occupier of registered premises must allow any authorised officer of the Council to inspect the place and receptacles where explosives are kept.
Application for a yearly licence.|
Application for more than 75kg|.
Application for less than 75kg.|
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)|
Department of Trade and Industry (DTi)|
UK Firework Safety|
Explosive Industry Group|
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