With Halloween, Diwali and the festive season a key period for fireworks, retailers must be careful to sell them within the correct dates and adhere to safety guidelines for correct storage and sale.
To help any retailers unsure about the guidelines, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has published a fireworks advice guide which contains all of the essential information needed to make sales go with a bang.
Retailers must adhere to the laws regarding the safe storage and sale of fireworks that are contained in the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015, The Fireworks Regulations 2004 and the Explosives Regulations of 2014. These include:
• You need permission from your local Council or Fire Authority to store them.
• Permission will only be given if your premises is deemed suitable for the storage of fireworks.
• You can only sell certain types of fireworks and store in certain quantities.
• You cannot sell them to under 18 year olds, with exceptions
• You can only sell them at certain times of the year (unless special permission is granted).
When can I sell them?
If a store has permission to sell fireworks, it can do so within the following dates:
• Between 15 October and 10 November
• Diwali (12 November 2023) and three days prior
• Between 26 and 31 December
• First day of Chinese New Year (10 February 2024) and three days prior
Other factors highlighted by the ACS include that retailers must keep a record of who they have bought fireworks from for the last 10 years as well as a record of any other businesses they have sold fireworks to over the last 10 years.
Any fireworks sold by retailers must be labelled correctly and contain:
- The name, registered trade name or registered trademark of the manufacturer.
- A single postal address at which the manufacturer can be contacted.
- Name, type and category of the firework.
- Registration number of the firework.
- Product, batch or serial number of the firework.
- Instructions for use and safety information, including age restrictions and net explosive content of the firework.
Retailers are also advised not sell adult fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of eighteen. Adult fireworks includes all fireworks, except party poppers, throwdowns, caps and novelty matches. The age limit for F1 fireworks is 16, which includes caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents, throwdowns and some sparklers. Retailers must also display an A3 sign informing customers that fireworks are an age-restricted product.
How much can I sell?
There are also limits on the volume of fireworks that a retailer can stock in their store.
• Sales Area – 12.5kg in a small shop, rising to 75kg in large superstores etc. You must not put glass showcases containing fireworks in your shop window.
• Each cabinet in the sales area must not contain more than 12.5kg and any container used for keeping fireworks must not contain other articles.
• 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