Fireworks - Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find supporting guidance for the Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER14)? 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)'s website provides supporting guidance and advice to retailers (opens in a new window).  


Where can I find general information on storing and selling fireworks?

The HSE guidance document "Storing and Selling Fireworks Safely" provides advice to retailers about appropriate arrangements.


Where can I find information about organising firework displays?

The HSE webpage "Organising Firework Displays" provides information on organising firework displays.   


How do I apply for a new licence to sell fireworks?

Any person who wishes to sell fireworks must first obtain a firework storage licence from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS). For information about how to apply for a licence is on our page "How to apply for a storage licence". New licenses are valid for up to one year.


May I sell fireworks at any time of the year?

Throughout the year there are periods of time that are known as ‘defined selling periods’ when you are permitted to sell fireworks without a selling licence. These are listed on our website. If you wish to sell fireworks outside of these periods you will need an ‘All Year Selling Licence’ in addition to your standard firework storage licence. To apply for an ‘All Year Selling Licence' you need to contact fireworks@manchesterfire.gov.uk or telephone 0161 608 4040 and request an application form. The cost of the annual licence is £500.


When will I have to pay for my licence?

As soon as your online application has been accepted. Payments will not be refunded once your application has been accepted, it is your responsibility to ensure you have read the supporting documentation and you have applied for the correct hazard type and quantity for your store.


How can I pay for my firework licence?

Once your application has been approved you will be prompted to pay via Worldpay who accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and JCB.  Alternatively you can request BACs details by emailing fireworks@manchesterfire.gov.uk

For any queries regarding your payment please contact fireworks@manchesterfire.gov.uk quoting your reference number, full name and contact number. The team will deal with your query at the earliest opportunity.


Who can fireworks be sold to?

Fireworks should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Traders must display a notice stating that it is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.


Can fireworks be sold late at night?

There are no restrictions on what time of day or night when fireworks can be sold.


Can fireworks be sold at car boot sales or markets?

There are rules on the type of premises where fireworks can be held. These premises have to be fixed/permanent buildings and the sellers are required to be licensed with GMFRS. It is illegal to sell fireworks at car boot sales or markets or from vehicles.


Can fireworks be sold from private houses?

Any person who is selling or storing fireworks is required to be licensed with GMFRS. There are specific safety rules regarding the storage of fireworks and all premises will need to meet these standards.


Can fireworks be sold at a pub or place of work?

Fireworks can only be sold from premises which are licensed in the name of the seller. It is unlikely that the person selling fireworks in the pub or at work has the permission of the premises owner. The premises where he/she is storing the fireworks must also be licensed with GMCA.


Can I sell fireworks at any time of the year?

Throughout the year there are periods of times that are known as "defined selling periods" when you are permitted to sell fireworks without a selling licence. These are listed on our website and in the application process. If you wish to sell fireworks outside of these periods you will need to make an application for an "All Year Selling Licence". Please note that this is in addition to your storage licence.


What time can fireworks be let off?

Fireworks must not be used between 11pm and 7am. The curfew is enforced by the police. There are however exemptions to this on the following days:

  • Chinese New Year from 1am to 7am
  • November 5  from 12 midnight to 7am
  • Diwali from 1am to 7am
  • New Years Eve from 1am to 7am

What if someone is repeatedly letting off fireworks?

There is a curfew on the use of fireworks between 11pm and 7am. The curfew is enforced by the police. If not there may be an issue of noise pollution which can be investigated by regulatory services.


What if fireworks are being let off in the street or other public places?

It is illegal for anyone to let off fireworks on a highway or other public places. This matter is enforced by the police.


What if there are young people with fireworks?

It is illegal for a person under 18 years of age to possess a firework in a public place. This matter is enforced by the police.