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Fireworks registration, licensing and safety

Firework display on bonfire night

Fireworks are potentially dangerous so laws are in place to ensure that risk is minimised and fireworks can be enjoyed in a safe environment.

What we do

We check that fireworks are stored safely at retail premises and are only sold at certain times of the year (unless the trader has an all year licence). Fireworks should not be sold to people under 18 years of age and we carry out test purchasing exercises to make sure that businesses are not breaking the law. We also inspect fireworks to ensure they comply with the relevant British safety standards.

Although we have no legal responsibility for ensuring the safe use of fireworks, we work with other agencies such as the police and fire service to promote responsible and safe use.

Registration and licensing

By law, any business who wants to sell or store fireworks or other explosives will need either (depending on the quantities involved) to register with us or obtain a licence from us. If you are a business based in Merton and want to sell or store fireworks, please contact us at trading.standards@merton.gov.uk or telephone 020 8545 3025.

Unless a trader has a year round licence, fireworks can only be sold at:

  • Bonfire Night - 15 October to 10 November
  • New Year's Eve - 26 December to 31 December
  • Chinese New Year - on the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days preceding it
  • Diwali - on the day of Diwali and the three days preceding it.

What you can do

You can let us know if a trader in Merton is selling fireworks to underage persons or offering them for sale at the wrong time of year. Please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. It is also against the law for a retailer to split boxed selections of fireworks.

If you want information on using fireworks safely there are some useful websites listed below.

Useful websites

Business advice

If your business is based in the borough and you need advice on consumer and fair trading matters, you can contact us directly at trading.standards@merton.gov.uk. You can also visit the Business Companion website which covers all major Trading Standards legislation.

For comprehensive and up to date guidance on how to deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns visit the Sale of Goods Act (SOGA) hub website. All the training and promotional materials provided are available to access online or to download in a variety of formats.

See also

Bonfire Night safety advice

Contact us

Trading Standards
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Email: trading.standards@merton.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8545 3025

Consumer Advice

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

This page was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2015

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