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Halloween and Bonfire Night

Be safe this Halloween and Bonfire Night

Have fun, be safe, and know the laws

Around the time of Halloween and Bonfire Night many people enjoy traditional festivities from Trick or Treating to hosting celebrations with fireworks and bonfires.

But it's important to stay safe throughout this period, particularly if you're going to be handling fireworks.

While most people remember the all-important safety rules of handling fireworks, unfortunately there are those that flaunt them. And it's also worth noting that traditionally, in the week in which Halloween falls and the following days leading up to Bonfire Night, there is a rise in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage from certain members of the community whose motive is to spoil the fun.

With all this in mind, in this section we look at ways in which you can enjoy the festivities whilst staying safe, with advice, safety tips, and a lowdown of the laws surrounding fireworks.

There are also posters to download about staying safe when handling fireworks, informing would-be Trick or Treaters you do not wish to be visited and a poster for shop owners about the sale of flour and eggs, two ingredients used in ASB at this time of year.

Firework Safety

During this time of the year, it's important to remember to stay safe whilst handling, and selling fireworks.

In general, the legal requirements surrounding fireworks are:

  • It is illegal to sell bangers and air bombs
  • It is illegal to split retail packs
  • Retailers must have a licence to supply fireworks all year round
  • It is illegal to set fireworks off between 11pm and 7am except in the following cases:
  1. November 5th - until midnight
  2. New Year's Eve - 1am on the following day
  3. Chinese New Year - 1am on the following day
  4. Diwali - 1am on the following day
  • It is illegal to use them in a public place
  • Retailers should display the poster about underage sale and possession. As with alcohol, it is the retailer's responsibility to actively check that they are not supplying fireworks to under 18s.
  • Retailers breaking the law could receive a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to six months' imprisonment.

Key Messages

We want people to have fun and enjoy the period but to do so in a safe manner and within the law. Here are the key messages we're aiming to get across to both residents and revellers.

  • Damage to property is not a joke to the owners - people will face arrest and prosecution for criminal damage
  • It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy or carry fireworks
  • Throwing or setting of fireworks in the street is against the law
  • Police will take positive action against people involved in crime and anti-social behaviour at any time of the year
  • Police will use appropriate powers available to them to disperse groups if necessary



Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.