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THE MAGAZINE ABOUT FIREWORKS FOR OVER 30 YEARS

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Debate on restriction of fireworks

A debate held on Monday 6 June discussed an online petition which called for further restriction of the use of fireworks by the general public to specific days - a demand which would prevent the public from using fireworks at weddings, funerals, parties and special events, such as HM The Queen's birthday.

Contrary to news reports, often prompted by those opposing firework use, there were no Government promises to restrict firework use further. On the contrary the official statement ruled this out. (See below)

The Government's full response:

'Current firework regulations allow fireworks for home use to be sold during the traditional firework periods of Bonfire Night (15 October – 10 November), New Year’s Eve (26 December – 31 December), Chinese New Year (the day of the Chinese New Year and three days immediately before), and Diwali (the day of Diwali and three days immediately before).

'Suppliers who wish to sell fireworks outside the traditional periods must comply with stringent conditions before being granted a licence by their local licensing authority. This means the availability and use of fireworks outside the traditional periods has been greatly reduced.

'The regulations also created a curfew preventing the use of fireworks between 11.00pm and 7.00am all year round with the exception of 5 November, when the curfew starts at 12 midnight, and New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali, when the curfew starts at 1.00 am on the night of celebration.

'We understand concerns about the distress noisy fireworks can cause to pets, livestock and wildlife. This is one of the reasons that there is a noise level limit of 120 decibels on fireworks for home use. We realise, however, that even at this level fireworks noise can be distressing to some animals and refer owners to advice on keeping animals safe during fireworks periods. This is freely available from animal charities, such as the Blue Cross which gives both general and species-specific advice on its website.

'In addition there is Government-sponsored advice and guidance on the safe and considerate use of fireworks on the Safer Fireworks website.

'Excessive noise from fireworks, or noise during the curfew period, can be considered a statutory nuisance and local authority environmental health officers have the power to investigate complaints of fireworks noise and act to prevent it where appropriate.

'Although there is some use of fireworks outside the traditional periods, we believe that the majority of people who use fireworks do so at the appropriate times of year and have a sensible and responsible attitude towards them. There are no plans at the moment to place further limitations on their use.'

- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The petition was worded as follows:

'Fireworks now occur at all times of the day and evening for many weeks during the autumn and winter. Pet and animal owners struggle to keep their companion animals safe during this extended period. We call for fireworks use by the general public to be permitted on traditional celebration dates only.'

Terms and Condtions