Fireworks: changes to the law

Information about the law on using fireworks and pyrotechnics, including firework control zones.

Firework control zones

Local councils now have powers to set up 'firework control zones' to restrict the use of fireworks in their areas.

If an area has been designated as a firework control zone:

  • members of the public are not allowed to use fireworks, including on private property such as a garden
  • fireworks can only be used at public displays and for some limited other purposes

Firework control zone powers came into effect in June 2023. They aim to reduce the negative impact fireworks can have in some communities and protect public safety. 


It is a criminal offence for members of the public to use fireworks in a firework control zone. If you use a firework illegally you could be fined up to £5,000 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months.

Fireworks that can and cannot be used within firework control zones

Only category 1 fireworks can be used in a firework control zone, subject to other legal controls on their use. Examples of category 1 fireworks include small sparklers, ice fountains, Christmas crackers and party poppers. No other fireworks are allowed. Further information on the different categories of fireworks.

It is already an offence to fire, cast, or throw fireworks in or onto a highway, street, road, thoroughfare, or public place.


Fireworks can only be used in a control zone:

  • for the purposes of an organised public fireworks display - local licensing requirements still apply
  • in connection with a regulatory authority's function, or
  • for business purposes by businesses involved in the manufacture, import, distribution, or supply of fireworks

Guidance for local councils

Firework contol zone guidance for councils has been published to support them in considering and designating control zones in their area. 

Councils will need to:

  • consult with communities before designating, changing or removing an area a firework control zone
  • publish information about any designated, changed or removed zones in the area

Other changes to the law on fireworks 

This is one of a number of changes to the law on the sale and use of fireworks in Scotland, as part of the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022.


For more information contact .

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