Public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland: representative omnibus survey

This report summarises results from an omnibus survey on public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland.

Background and objectives


The Scottish Government (SG) has recently completed a public consultation on fireworks to gather information and views on the use and regulations of fireworks in Scotland. The consultation ran from 3 February 2019 to 13 May 2019 and received over 16,500 responses. As part of the consultation, public engagement events were held across Scotland to engage people in more detailed discussions, and reach those who might not choose to respond to a written consultation.

Fireworks are an important part of Scottish celebrations and festivals, from Bonfire Night to Hogmanay. They can bring excitement to special occasions throughout the year. However, fireworks are potentially dangerous and need to be used safely and handled with care to avoid serious injury. For some, the noise made by setting off fireworks can be a nuisance, and the disturbance can cause distress to both people and animals.

While much of the legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster the consultation will help to identify gaps, issues or unintended consequences with the current regulatory framework.

To complement the consultation and provide findings that are representative of people across Scotland, Progressive were commissioned to conduct an online omnibus survey with a representative sample of the Scottish population.

Aims and objectives

The aim of this research was to explore views on the use and regulation of fireworks with a representative sample of the Scottish population. The specific objectives of the study were to ascertain the Scottish public’s views on:

  • Increasing control over the sale of fireworks in Scotland;
  • Banning the sale of fireworks to the public in Scotland; and
  • More control on how fireworks can be used in Scotland.

In addition, the research was required to draw out any variations in attitudes between sub-groups of the Scottish public; for example, differences that arose between respondents of different ages, gender, socio-economic groups, Scottish regions, rurality, and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)[1].



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