Underage Sales

Fireworks

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

Fireworks image

It is illegal for a business to store fireworks without being registered or licensed by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service.

It is illegal to sell adult fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of eighteen.

It is illegal for anyone under the age of eighteen to possess adult fireworks in a public place.

It it illegal to display for sale or sell fireworks outside the following periods

  • First day of Chinese New Year and 3 days prior
  • Diwali and 3 days prior
  • Between 15 October and 10 November
  • Between 26 and 31 December

Penalty

The courts may impose a fine of up to £5,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment or both.

Enforcement

Trading Standards Officers may be carry out exercises using underage volunteers to test purchase fireworks in the period leading up to and after 5 November and New Year, as well as Diwali and the Chinese New Year.

                                          
 

Registration

To store fireworks (except for private use) your premises must be registered with Hampshire County Council.

Download

Licences

If you wish to store and sell fireworks all year round, your premises must be licensed by Hampshire County Council.

Download

Licence and Registration Fees

  • New Licence £178
    Renewal £83, can only be issued where the periods covered are continuous
  • New Registration £105
    Renewal £52, can only be issued where the periods covered are continuous
  • All Year round licence £500

Storage and display

  • The following maximum amounts are permitted for storage on registered premises. All weights listed in the following paragraphs are net weights of explosives contained in the fireworks.
  • Sales Area - 12.5kg in a small shop, rising to 75kg in large superstores etc.
  • Non-public Areas - 250kg (less the amount in the sales area), however in premises which contain or adjoin domestic or sleeping accommodation this is reduced to 75kg, unless specific constructional requirements are met.
  • In areas where the public have access you can keep fireworks in glass showcases, metal containers, wooden boxes, cupboards or drawers, but these must be locked or positioned so that no unauthorised person can reach them. Each container must not contain more than 12.5kg net weight of explosive. You must not put glass showcases containing fireworks in your shop window.
  • Fireworks stored elsewhere in the building must be kept in closed fire-resistant containers. The fireworks should be kept in their transport packaging for as long as possible, and only opened when needed.
  • Any container used for keeping fireworks must not contain other articles.
  • You and your employees must take due care to prevent unauthorised access to any fireworks and accidents involving fire.

Safety precautions

  • Keep all passages and stairways clear so that, if a fire should occur, escape is not hampered. See that doors are not obstructed.
  • Do not store fireworks in passageways or under stairs.
  • Keep water-type fire extinguishers handy and see that they are properly maintained (buckets of water and sand are a useful stand-by).
  • Label the containers: ‘Fireworks Highly Flammable’, and keep them closed
  • Keep all fireworks in a dry place
  • Disconnect from the electricity supply any electrical fitting inside a display case while the case is being used for displaying fireworks
  • See that there is no smoking at or near the stands or counters where fireworks are being sold or displayed. Put up ‘NO SMOKING’ notices.

Contact Registration and Licences

Email: tsadvice@hants.gov.uk
 
  • You must be registered with trading standards to store or sell fireworks in your shop.
  • The Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 (as amended) prohibit the supply of fireworks to persons under the age of 18.

  • The age limit is 16 for caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns.
  • All packets of sparklers must be labelled
    Warning: not to be given to children under 5 years of age
  • The supply to the general public of certain powerful fireworks is banned, including : aerial shells, aerial maroons, shells-in-mortar, maroons-in-mortar, fireworks with erratic flight, all bangers, mini-rockets and air bombs.
  • Fireworks pre-packed in selection boxes or packs must not be split up or sold individually.
  • All fireworks intended for use by the general public must comply with British Standard 7114.
  • Do not stock fireworks unless they are marked, “Complies with BS7114: Part 2 1988”
    (or for packs “contents comply with BS 7114: Part 2 1988”)
  • All fireworks not suitable (as defined in the Regulations) for use by the general public must bear a warning to that effect.
  • All fireworks must be stored and displayed for sale in a safe and secure manner.
  • You must display an age warning notice to deter any under age people asking for fireworks.

It is illegal for anyone under the age of eighteen to possess adult fireworks in a public place. Adult fireworks means all fireworks except sparklers, party poppers, throwdowns, caps and novelty matches.

It it illegal to display for sale or sell fireworks outside the following periods, unless you have a licence from Trading Standards.

  • First day of Chinese New Year and 3 days prior
  • Diwali and 3 days prior
  • Between 15 October and 10 November
  • Between 26 and 31 December

If you sell or supply more than 50kgs net explosive content of fireworks in a single transaction you must record

  • The name and address of your supplier
  • The date the fireworks were supplied to you
  • The name and address of your customer
  • The date you supplied the fireworks
  • The actual quantity supplied.

Trading Standards Officers may require you to provide the information at any time. Failure to provide it is an offence and may render you liable to prosecution.

No member of the public may possess "professional fireworks". These fireworks are sometimes referred to as "Category 4 fireworks".

 
  • Ensure new and existing staff are properly trained and regularly updated. Issue clear written guidance to your staff and ensure they understand it.
  • Place notices in staff areas and at the points of sale to publicise age restrictions and that sales must be refused if the correct photo I.D. cannot be provided.
  • Ensure all staff know how to deal with attempts to purchase goods illegally, and be vigilant for members of the public who have been approached outside the shop to purchase goods on behalf of children.
  • If in doubt refuse the sale. You are under no obligation to serve the person if you suspect that goods may be passed to children or the person making the purchase cannot provide suitable photo I.D.
  • Request photo I.D from anyone who appears to be under the age of 21
  • Record all refusals in your refusals log (keep by the till)
  • Place a reminder to staff at the point of sale
 
 

Contact

Help us stamp out underage sales of age restricted products

Trading Standards
Montgomery House
Monarch Way
Winchester SO22 5PW

  • " "

    Follow us on Twitter