Publication - Consultation paper

Fireworks in Scotland: consultation

Published: 3 Feb 2019
Directorate:
Safer Communities Directorate
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781787815483

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

15 page PDF

371.4 kB

15 page PDF

371.4 kB

Contents
Fireworks in Scotland: consultation
Part Two: Legislation and Regulation

15 page PDF

371.4 kB

Part Two: Legislation and Regulation

Legislation regulates the sale and use of fireworks. There are controls on who can sell fireworks, which types are available to the public, who can buy and possess fireworks, how they must be stored, and where and when fireworks may be used.

Fireworks in Scotland are controlled by legislation covering areas such as consumer protection and explosives; environmental law; and animal welfare law.

Further detail on the controls and legislation surrounding fireworks sale and use is provided in the accompanying technical annex, which can be accessed at https://consult.gov.scot/safer-communities/fireworks.

Sale of Fireworks

Legislation on the sale and storage of fireworks is reserved to the UK Government. This means that the UK Government at Westminster is the only body that can change or pass laws on those issues. For most of the year fireworks can only be sold by licenced traders. Licencing the sale of fireworks is done by local authorities, and traders have to meet very strict criteria to receive a licence.

In the run up to New Year, Chinese New Year and Diwali, and for the three weeks before Bonfire Night, traders registered with their local authority to store fireworks do not require a specific sales licence. Instead they are required to register with the relevant local authority. Local authorities have no powers to refuse registration at these times.

It is illegal to sell outdoor fireworks to anyone who is less than 18 years old. It is illegal to sell indoor fireworks (such as sparklers) to anyone who is less than 16 years old.

Fireworks which make a noise of over 120 decibels when they are set off, or fireworks that require specialist knowledge to use safely, cannot be sold to the general public at any time. Fireworks associated with antisocial behaviour such as bangers, air bombs and jumping jacks are also banned at all times.

Legislation governing the sale of fireworks is reserved to the UK government, but we would like to hear your views on what you would like to see in Scotland:

Question 4. Do you think there should be more controls over the sale of fireworks?

  • Yes (please tell us what controls you would like to see in place)
  • No (please tell us why you do not feel more controls are needed).

Question 5: What are your views on banning the sale of fireworks to the public in Scotland?

  • Yes, I would welcome a ban on the sale of fireworks (please tell us why you would welcome a ban)
  • No, I would not welcome a ban on the sale of fireworks (please tell us why you would not welcome a ban)
  • Unsure.

Use of Fireworks

Legislation covering the use of fireworks in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This means that the Scottish Parliament can change or pass laws in relation to those issues as they apply to Scotland.

Restrictions are placed on when fireworks can be used. During most of the year fireworks can only be used between 7am and 11pm. On the 5 November fireworks can be used until midnight, and on the nights of Chinese New Year, Diwali and New Year's Eve fireworks can be used until 1am.

It is for each local authority to decide if it wishes to licence public firework displays under its Public Entertainment Licencing regime.

It is a criminal offence for anyone to throw, cast or fire any fireworks in or into any road or public place and this is enforced by Police Scotland.

Legislation governing the use of fireworks is the responsibility of the Scottish Government. We would like to hear your views on the current regulations around the use of fireworks:

Question 6. Do you think there should be more controls on how fireworks can be used in Scotland?

  • Yes (please tell us what controls you would like to see in place)
  • No (please tell us why not).

Contact

Email: Elinor Findlay