Fireworks are often the highlight of festivities, lighting up the sky with brilliant colours and mesmerising displays. 

Whether it’s a family gathering, a community event, or any special occasion, fireworks bring a magical touch to the proceedings. 

However, it’s crucial to handle fireworks with care due to their potential hazards. 

So, what are the safest options when it comes to fireworks? Let’s delve into this guide tailored for our UK audience.

Let’s get the mini takeaway first and then we can explore a little more detail. 

The safest types of fireworks for UK celebrations include Sparklers, Catherine Wheels, Roman candles, and Firework Fountains. These fireworks produce colourful displays with minimal noise and are suitable for various settings, ensuring a delightful and safe experience for all.

So with the short answer explained let’s get into it so we can find out the real answer as to ‘ what are the safest types of fireworks? 

safest types of fireworks in the uk

Understanding Firework Categories

In the UK, fireworks are categorised into four main types based on their hazard level. 

Category F1: Indoor Fireworks

Category F1 fireworks are designed for indoor use, offering a low noise level and minimal risk. 

These fireworks are the safest option available and are often used for family gatherings, birthday parties, or events where loud noises may be disruptive or unwanted. 

Sparklers are a popular example of Category F1 fireworks, producing bright, sparkling effects without the need for loud bangs or explosions.

Category F2: Indoor Fireworks

Category 2 Fireworks Overview:

Safe Viewing Distance: 8 meters (minimum)

Technically, Category 2 fireworks should have a minimum safe viewing distance of 8 meters, though some manufacturers may specify 15 or even 20 meters. Thus, Category 2 fireworks can require a viewing distance anywhere from 8 to 20 meters, always indicated clearly on the packaging.

Legal Purchase Age: 18

Only individuals aged 18 and above can purchase Category 2 fireworks, and the same age restriction applies to setting them off.

Where to Use: Outdoors with ample space for spectators to maintain the minimum distance from the launch site.

Often referred to as Garden fireworks, Category 2 fireworks are suitable for most gardens, given their smaller scale. For instance, if the firework has an 8-meter safe distance, ensure your garden is longer than approximately 10 meters at its longest point.

Examples of Category 2 fireworks:

Explore our F2 garden fireworks page for a comprehensive list of Category 2 fireworks. These fireworks offer diverse types, allowing flexibility in designing your display. Our inventory includes fully Category 2 compliant barrage packs and firework selections featuring various effects for complete displays. Here are a few favourite’s:

Category 3 : Fireworks

Minimum Safe Viewing Distance: 25 meters

Category 3 fireworks represent the highest level of firepower available to the public. To ensure safety, the entire audience must maintain a distance of at least 25 meters. Consequently, Category 3 fireworks are suitable only for very spacious gardens or grounds.

Legal Purchase Age: 18

Like other fireworks, Category 3 fireworks are exclusively sold to and used by individuals aged 18 and above. Violating these regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 or imprisonment, with on-the-spot fines of £90 possible.

Where to Use: Due to the 25-meter safety requirement, Category 3 fireworks are best suited for large outdoor areas. Smaller gardens in densely populated regions may not provide adequate space. Events held on larger private grounds or at venues are ideal for Category 3 fireworks, ensuring everyone can safely enjoy the display without entering the danger zone. For instance, Category 3 fireworks might enhance a wedding firework display.

Examples of Category 3 fireworks:

Category 3 fireworks offer spectacular displays sure to captivate any audience. While they are the most powerful accessible to the public, there are also low-noise Fireworks options available, delivering stunning visual effects without excessive noise levels.

Here are some category 3 fireworks examples below :

safest types of fireworks in the uk

There are several laws and regulations in place to ensure that fireworks are used safely and responsibly.

The Fireworks Regulations 2004

Let's break down the Fireworks Regulations 2004 in a way that's easy to understand. If you're under 18, you're out of luck when it comes to buying fireworks. 

Those sparklers and rockets are strictly off-limits until you hit that milestone birthday!

What Retailers Need to Know

If you're selling fireworks, there's a bit more to it than just checking IDs. 

You've got to make sure the fireworks you're selling meet some pretty strict safety rules. 

That means they've been tested to make sure they're not going to cause any surprises.

The Importance of Labels

So the labels on your fireworks aren't just for show! Each firework should come with clear warnings and instructions. 

Think of it as your go-to guide on how to use the fireworks safely and what to do if things don't go as planned.

For more info for dealing with emergencies head over to our other article - What Should I Do in Case of a Firework Emergency?

So, whether you're planning a big display or just lighting up the garden, it's good to know there are rules in place to keep everyone safe.

The Explosives Act 1875: Storing and Moving Fireworks Safely

The Explosives Act of 1875 governs the storage and transportation of fireworks. 

This act has been around for a while, but its rules are still as relevant as ever. Let's take a look below. 

  • Storing Fireworks: First off, if you're thinking of storing fireworks at home, think again!  The Explosives Act of 1875 makes it crystal clear: storing fireworks in your house or any other domestic dwelling is a no-go. It's all about keeping everyone safe by avoiding any risks of accidental ignition.
  • Transporting Fireworks: If you're planning to take your fireworks on the road, you'll need to take some precautions. The Explosives Act of 1875 requires that fireworks be transported in a way that minimises the risk of them going off unexpectedly. So, chucking them in the boot without any thought? Not the way to go!

In a nutshell, the Explosives Act of 1875 sets out some essential guidelines to ensure that fireworks are stored and transported safely. 

Let's all play it safe and stick to the rules when it comes to handling fireworks!

Noise Limits

Understanding the impact of noise from fireworks is crucial, as excessive noise can cause distress to both people and animals. 

The Noise Act 1996 outlines specific regulations regarding the use of fireworks to ensure that noise levels are kept within acceptable limits.

Restricted Hours

This act says that setting off fireworks between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am is prohibited, except on designated occasions. 

This timeframe aims to minimise disturbances during the night and early morning hours, respecting the need for peace in residential areas.

Special Occasions 

Exceptions to the standard hours are made for recognised celebrations such as Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. 

On these occasions, the deadline for setting off fireworks is extended to midnight or 1 am, allowing for extended festivities while still maintaining reasonable noise levels.

Local Authority Restrictions

As well as national laws and regulations, local authorities may also impose their restrictions on fireworks. 

For example, some councils may designate specific areas where fireworks can be used or limit the days and times when fireworks can be set off.


Are There Any Laws or Regulations About Fireworks Safety in the UK? - To End On…

To sum up, fireworks are a fantastic way to celebrate special occasions, but it's crucial to use them responsibly and safely.

By following the Firework Code and adhering to relevant laws and regulations, we can all enjoy the magic of fireworks without putting ourselves or others at risk.

Whether you are celebrating your birthday or tying the knot, you can find quality fireworks for sale in the UK from Showtime Fireworks. As one of the country’s largest firework shops London, we offer high-quality and safe products, perfect for all special occasions. Place your order now!

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when it comes to fireworks. 

So, whether you're planning a small gathering in your garden or attending a large public display, make sure to follow the rules, stay informed, and have a blast (safely, of course)!

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