We spend over £2 billion each year on fireworks in the UK, which itself tells us how much they are loved.

Sadly, people are injured by bonfires and fireworks each year, often because they do not give them the care and respect they should.

The Firework Code

Always make sure everyone is standing well back from any fireworks being let off and following the Fireworks Code as follows:

  • Always buy fireworks from a reputable licenced retailer.
  • Only buy fireworks that comply with current UK safety Standards 
  • Always keep fireworks in a closed box until used and take them out one at a time, closing the box each time.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket.
  • Be considerate of others – for instance, let your neighbours know you will be setting off fireworks, especially if they are elderly or have pets or children.
  • Avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school night.
  • Ensure pets are safe (see below).
  • Carefully follow the instructions on each
  • Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.
  • Never throw fireworks – they are explosives and dangerous.
  • Light fireworks one at a time – at the end of the fuse – and at arm’s length.
  • Wear gloves when holding or lighting sparklers and light one at a time.
  • Never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5.
  • Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire – there may be traces of explosive still in them.

There are laws which make it illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public place as between 11pm and 7am, with the exception of Bonfire Night when the cut-off is midnight.


Like thunder and lightening, fireworks can cause distress to animals and it is recommended that pet owners living near firework displays take precautions to minimise any distress these might cause.

Cats and dogs should be allowed to take refuge where they feel most comfortable, under furniture or in a corner.   Do no try to tempt them out as this can cause more stress.

Closing windows and curtains as well as playing music or having the radio or TV on can also help mitigate the noise of the fireworks.

Consider bringing any small pets kept outside – such as rabbits or guinea pigs – inside or putting them in a garden shed for the duration of the display.

If you have horses, a pony or donkey, it is recommended that you shut them in a stable and hide the view of the display.

These rules are equally good if thunder and lightning are forecast.