For those retailers planning on selling fireworks there are a number of key points to remember about the sale and storage of fireworks in order to stay safe and remain within the law.

  • Any retailer storing explosives, including fireworks, requires a registration or licence. It is an offence to store fireworks on unregistered premises. Only persons with fixed premises can be registered. Fireworks cannot be sold at market stalls, car boot sales or other temporary sales points.
  • It is an offence to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 years. The maximum penalty for selling fireworks to anyone under this age is a £5,000 fine. SGF recommends that retailers operate a strict No ID No Sale policy to ensure that they do not sell to minors.
  • It is an offence to sell caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throw-downs to under-16 year olds.
  • The 2004 Fireworks Regulations state that suppliers of fireworks to the public must display an A3 sized notice stating that it is illegal to sell adult fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of 18 and that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.
  • All category 4 fireworks or any other fireworks which does not meet BS 7114 or EU equivalent must not be sold.
  • If you store explosives, you must not allow a person under 18 years to work in that storage area except under appropriate supervision.
  • Fireworks on the shop floor must be kept in a designated area well away from sources of ignition and in a display case or storage cupboard or cabinet.
  • Each storage cabinet or display case must hold no more than 12.5kg (NEQ).

It is the retailers’ responsibility to ensure that they are aware of and comply with the regulations governing the sale and storage of fireworks. If you are uncertain about any aspect of selling or storing fireworks please consult your local authority or trading standards officers.

The Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004 can be accessed here:

The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regs 2005 can be accessed here: