Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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The Explosives Regulations 2014 (external link) came into force on 1 October 2014, and the Approved Code of Practice to the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005, and the Guide to the Placing on the Market and Supervision of Transfers of Explosives Regulations 1993, have been withdrawn.
The Explosives Regulations 2014 guidance applies to anyone who has duties under the safety provisions of the Explosives Regulations 2014, particularly employers, private individuals and other people manufacturing explosives, storing larger quantities of explosives or storing explosives that present higher hazards.
Failure to meet these requirements may render anyone storing explosives liable to prosecution.
In general any person storing explosives must hold a licence. In addition any person who stores explosives should do so in a safe manner.
This guidance summarises the requirements of a licence for the storage of fireworks when sold in retail premises to members of the public.
Reference is made to the 'net mass' (NM) of fireworks, which is the actual quantity of explosive contained within the fireworks. This is not the same as gross weight, which includes all the fireworks, immediate packaging, casing etc.If you do not know the net mass of a fireworks it is taken to be ¼ of its gross weight. For example if the fireworks weigh 1000kg they are taken to have a net mass of 250kg.
You are permitted to store up to 250kg net mass of Hazard Type 4 fireworks. Most fireworks for sale in retail premises are generally classified as Hazard Type 4 and are labelled 1.4G on their transit boxes.
Larger type fireworks, labelled 1.3G on their transport packages, will generally be classified as Hazard Type 3. The storage quantities and legislation for this hazard type are different to the guidance given in this document and you should contact the fire service for further information on the storage of this type of firework.
Any person who stores fireworks should carry out a risk assessment and take the appropriate measures to control the risks identified.
See the Fireworks in shops: Retailers' risk assessment checklist - PDF (external link)
Fireworks can be stored in the building (shop) from which they are sold. However the risk of a fire involving or spreading to fireworks is increased due to the other activities that take place in the working environment, including the presence of members of the public. It is therefore, imperative that control measure are put in place to prevent the accidental ignition of the fireworks and to restrict the spread of fire. These objectives are achieved by segregating the fireworks from sources of ignition, heat, other combustibles, flammable goods and public access.
Methods of segregation include storing fireworks in:
You must ensure that the location is suitable for the quantity of fireworks that you are storing and that the fireworks are kept in their boxes.
For any storage of fireworks, including "dummies" you must ensure that:
Please remember! Under no circumstances must live fireworksk including "dummies" be displayed in shop windows or on open displays such as shelves.
Displaying of fireworks in the sales area must be in a designated area away from any ignition sources and which can be supervised by staff at all times. The fireworks must be displayed in locked cabinets, cases or cupboards.
Display cabinets and cases must:
You must ensure that only safe levels of fireworks are stored in the sales area. Under no circumstances should the amount of fireworks stored in the shop areas exceed the levels shown in the following table:
Total floor area of sales area
Maximum quantity of fireworks stored
If more than 75 kgs 'net mass' fireworks and stored within or adjoining a building containing domestic or sleeping accommodation, suitable steps must be taken to protect the residents of those premises in the event of fire. The following specific precautions must be taken.
Metal Shipping containers
If containers are used for storing fireworks. The following criteria must be adopted:
If the container is being used to sell directly to the public. The following criteria must be adopted: