Fireworks in Scotland: consultation

We are seeking your views on the use and regulation of fireworks in Scotland.

Part One: How are fireworks used in Scotland?

Fireworks are often associated with celebration and events that bring communities, friends and families together. These events can be formally organised by the local authority, a local community council or organised community group, but can also be set off in private spaces such as people's back gardens. Some of these celebrations are outlined here:

Diwali – celebrated in Autumn, it is one of the most significant festivals in the Indian culture and is celebrated by multiple religions including Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Large, public firework displays are held which celebrate one of the Diwali legends, Rama and his wife Sita.

New Year – many countries around the world mark the beginning of a New Year on January 1st with fireworks displays widely at both large organised events and smaller home gatherings.

Bonfire night – or "Guy Fawkes night" marks the anniversary of the thwarting of the gunpowder plot on 5th November 1605. Fireworks have traditionally been used to celebrate this event for many years in the UK, both at large, organised public events and smaller home gatherings.

Festival fireworks – in the last 50 years, large, organised displays, often accompanied by music, have become popular to mark the start or finish of large public events, including the Edinburgh Festival and Tattoo.

Weddings – in recent years firework displays have become increasingly popular to mark the end of wedding celebrations, with some venues now offering a display as part of a package deal.

When fireworks are not used safely or with respect to the wider community they can cause a nuisance, distress and injury. There have been incidents of fireworks being used dangerously or causing harm, including isolated incidents of disorder and attacks on emergency service workers linked to fireworks; and a small number of incidents where members of the public have been injured by fireworks.

We would like to hear from you about how you currently use and enjoy fireworks.

In this document the word "use" means that you are actively involved in buying and setting off fireworks, and the word "enjoy" means that you watch fireworks as a spectator but do not buy or set off fireworks yourself.

Question 1. What is the main way you typically enjoy and experience fireworks?

  • Attend a small private event with friends/family that is hosted by you or someone else
  • Attend a locally organised event such as an event run by your community council or local organisations with less than 500 people attending
  • Attend large public organised events with more than 500 people attending
  • Do not attend firework events
  • Other (please provide details).

Question 2. Would you say that fireworks form an important part of celebration events for you?

  • Yes
  • No.

Question 3. Have you been affected by fireworks being used in an irresponsible or unsafe way?

  • Yes (please provide details)
  • No.


Email: Elinor Findlay

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