Use of fireworks

Thank you for contacting me about fireworks.

I appreciate your concern about the use of fireworks. I have had several constituents contact me and I do recognise that this is a very difficult issue to get right. No one wants to end a traditional practice that gives a lot of pleasure to many but one has to recognise that fireworks have become substantially louder and more affordable in recent years and that there use can cause significant distress to pets and horses.

Firework regulations allow fireworks for home use to be sold during the traditional firework periods of Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Suppliers who wish to sell fireworks outside the traditional periods must comply with stringent conditions before being granted a licence by their local licensing authority. This means the availability and use of fireworks outside the traditional periods has been greatly reduced.

The regulations also created a curfew preventing the use of fireworks between 11pm and 7am all year round with the exception of 5 November, when the curfew starts at 12 midnight, and New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali, when the curfew starts at 1.00 am on the night of celebration.

Excessive noise from fireworks, or noise during the curfew period, can be considered a statutory nuisance and local authority environmental health officers have the power to investigate complaints of fireworks noise and act to prevent it where appropriate.

Although there is some use of fireworks outside the traditional periods, the Government believes that the majority of people who use fireworks do so at the appropriate times of year and have a sensible and responsible attitude towards them. There are no Government plans at the moment to place further limitations on their use.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.