It’s Bonfire Night on Saturday and I’m sure many people are planning small get-togethers with family and friends for a few fireworks, but did you know that as an organiser of these events you will be subject to the 2004 Fireworks Regulations?
|The days of just a humble sparkler in the back garden are long gone|
Event insurers Arag.co.uk are warning private firework party organisers about the legal responsibilities and risks that garden displays entail ahead of Bonfire Night – and there could be stiff penalties handed out to amateur pyrotechnicians who breach these regulations.
ARAG’s checklist for anyone planning garden displays this weekend is:
• Keep it at home – It has been illegal to set off fireworks “in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public place” since the Explosives Act of 1875
• Adults only – Possession of category 2 (garden) and category 3 (display) fireworks in a public place by anyone under the age of 18 is also an offence
• No pro, no show – Only pyrotechnics professionals are legally allowed to buy or possess category 4 (public display) fireworks
• Observe the curfew – Private firework displays must normally end by 11pm but the curfew is extended to midnight on November 5
You can find more safety tips for bonfire night, including a downloadable guide at bonfire-night-safety.co.uk.
The penalty for breaching the regulations is a fine of up to £5,000 or up to 6 months in prison. Such offences can also be dealt with through on-the-spot fines of £90.
Anyone hosting a private party or setting off fireworks could also face civil action if a guest is injured by a firework or the bonfire.
And of course there’s the potential distress to our pets.
This is, of course, all well and good but I hope that these regulations are enforced.
I also think it’s time to supermarkets and other major retailers to review their policy on selling fireworks direct to the general public.
Having listened to fireworks being let off in the streets around me in the middle of the night for days now, I suspect there are quite a few who would agree with me.