Preparing a display

We would always advise that people attend an organised fireworks display - but if you're holding one here are some key things to think about.

You can find your nearest official display by checking local press and visiting your local authority's website.

Preparation is key to enjoying fireworks safely, so:

  • Don't buy fireworks from anywhere you're not sure about, like a van or a temporary, unlicensed market stall.
  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 - this is the British Standard that all fireworks should meet (a reputable shop will know this).
  • Follow the instructions on each firework - read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame.
  • Make suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off catherine wheels or rockets.

Things you will need on the night

It's easy to get a few household things together, these are:

  • A closed metal box to store the fireworks - take them out one at a time
  • A bucket of water - to cool sparklers and put out any small fires
  • Eye protection and gloves
  • A bucket of earth to stick fireworks in.

Lighting fireworks

Follow these simple guidelines to stay safe:

  • Only one person should be responsible for letting off fireworks
  • Don't drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks
  • Light fireworks at arm's length, using a taper
  • Make sure everyone stands well back
  • Never go back to a firework that has been lit - even if it hasn't gone off it could still explode.


Sparklers are fun, but always:

  • Supervise children with sparklers and never give them to a child under five
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water

Other tips on the night

  • Keep pets indoors - most animals get very scared by the lights and noise from fireworks
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire
  • Take care around bonfires - all clothes, even those labelled 'low flammability', can catch fire.