Fireworks have always been used to mark occasions such as Diwali, Bonfire night and the Chinese new year, but unfortunately fireworks are also being misused to cause anti-social behaviour in the street and damage to property.
Noise nuisance laws does not normally apply to fireworks as they are used only occasionally throughout the year during significant cultural or religious ceremonies. It is therefore unlikely that fireworks noise will ever be frequent enough from any particular premises to constitute a statutory noise nuisance. This means the council is unable to take enforcement action to control the noise from fireworks.
Antisocial Behaviour Powers which introduced the concept of ‘Community Protection Notices’ may be able to provide some degree of control over the cumulative impact of multiple events at specific venues or where perpetrators can be identified, but not one-off incidents/events.
Often incidents involving fireworks last for a very short time, but where the perpetrator can be identified we do try to stop them from behaving irresponsibly in the future.
Incidents involving the use of fireworks in a public space or underage users should be reported to the Police by calling 101 or via the Leicestershire Police website.
There is a nighttime curfew on the use of fireworks, which are relaxed during times of traditional or religious and cultural events. It is now a criminal offence to let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am other than on "permitted fireworks nights" which are:
- 5th November, when the curfew is extended to midnight
- Diwali, when the curfew extends until 1am
- New Years Eve, when the extension extends until 1am
- Chinese New Year, when the extension extends until 1am
Other legal controls imposed on fireworks include:
- A ban the sale of noisier fireworks capable of 120 decibels or more to the public
- Limiting the sale of fireworks during the year other than by licensed suppliers
- Requiring firework retailers to display signs explaining the new laws
- Requiring importers to inform Customs and Excise of information relating to fireworks movements.
It is an offence for under 18s to possess fireworks in a public place other than caps, poppers and sparklers. If caught, the Police can issue fixed penalty notices.
Use of 'category 4' (the most powerful and noisy) fireworks is banned other than by trained professionals.
These laws are enforced by the Police and Trading Standards Officers.
Organising or managing a firework event
The Health and Safety Executive has the following advice:
Fireworks and animal safety
We know that many pets (for example, 62% of dogs and 54% of cats according to a recent RSPCA survey) show signs of distress linked to fireworks. However there are lots of simple things that pet owners can do to help their animals cope with fireworks better.
The RSPCA’s advice page has lots of hints and tips to help dog, cat, small animal and horse owners.
Last updated: Tue 30th November, 2021 @ 17:01