Current firework regulations allow fireworks for home use to be sold during the traditional firework periods of Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Suppliers who wish to sell fireworks outside the traditional periods must comply with stringent conditions before being granted a licence by their local licensing authority, which means the availability and use of fireworks outside the traditional periods has been greatly reduced.
I can assure you that the regulations create a curfew preventing the use of fireworks between 11pm and 7am all year round with the exception of 5 November, when the curfew starts at 12 midnight, and New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali, when the curfew starts at 1.00 am on the night of celebration.
Excessive noise from fireworks, or noise during the curfew period, can be considered a statutory nuisance and local authority environmental health officers have the power to investigate complaints of fireworks noise and act to prevent it where appropriate.
Indeed in a debate on the issue in Parliament last year, the Minister stated: 'Local Councils will also be aware of any issues particularly affecting the local community with regards to firework use. I therefore suggest that those who feel that fireworks use in their area is excessive contact their local councils with a view to working together on seasonal awareness campaigns to promote consideration for others when organising domestic displays. In the meantime, the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.'
Although there is some use of fireworks outside the traditional periods, the Government believes that the majority of people who use fireworks do so at the appropriate times of year and have a sensible and responsible attitude towards them. As such there are no plans at the moment to place further limitations on their use.