Bonfire Night: what are the rules when planning a fireworks display?

It’s that time of year again and whether you’re planning to attend an organised bonfire and fireworks event or hosting your own at home, there are some key things to consider to ensure you and your family and friends have a safe and enjoyable evening.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 1:30 pm
The Fireworks Safety Code gives key guidance on how to carefully plan your display

If you are planning your own fireworks display, be respectful of your neighbours by letting them know of your plans, particularly those with pets.

Animals can suffer psychological distress but may also cause themselves injuries, sometimes very serious ones, or get lost as they attempt to run or hide from the noise.

It’s important to note that 11pm is the cut-off time for setting off fireworks at any time of year. This however is extended to midnight for Bonfire Night (November 5) and to 1am for New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.

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If buying fireworks and sparklers, you can only purchase these from registered sellers for private use between specific dates.

For Bonfire Night, fireworks can be bought between October 10 and November 10. Buying them from unreputable and unlicensed retailers is not only illegal but also does not guarantee the safety of the fireworks or that they comply with current safety standards.

If noise from fireworks use becomes a regular occurrence from a single property either before or after 11pm, you can report this to the council. Make a record of the incidents including the location and where possible film footage of the fireworks and email [email protected]

However, setting off fireworks in any public place is a criminal offence and any anti-social behaviour of this kind is the responsibility of the police and should be reported to the them on 101 or via

Councillor Will Simpson, cabinet member for culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “The run up to Bonfire Night is one of the busiest times of year for the emergency services, and we really hope families can enjoy it safely.

“The current Public Space Protection Orders means fireworks, bonfires and sparklers are banned on all council land, unless appropriate council permission is given in advance, as well National Trust and Yorkshire Water land.

"Any live flame in any of these locations can cause devastating fires, as we have seen in recent years on our moorlands, but the noise associated with fireworks can also cause significant disturbance and stress to wildlife.

“While we recognise residents wish to celebrate events such as Bonfire Night at this time of year with fireworks, we ask that guidelines are adhered to, not only to protect themselves and each other but also the significant environmental impact.

"By heeding safety advice, everyone should have an enjoyable evening.”

The Fireworks Safety Code states:

Always keep fireworks in a closed box.

Take them out one at a time and close the box.

Never put fireworks in your pocket.

Avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school night.

Avoid setting off fireworks where livestock are kept close by.

Ensure your pets are safe.

Carefully follow the instructions on each firework.

Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.

Never throw fireworks; it is dangerous.

Light fireworks one at a time, at the end of the fuse, and at arm’s length.

Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them.

Never give sparklers to a child under the age of five.

Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire.