Fireworks make a great addition to many occasions. They bring a feeling of festivity and can entertain attendees, and can also serve as the highlight of any event. However, they must be handled carefully, as there are safety concerns that are considered a top priority.


In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know to safely handle fireworks. Let’s begin.


What are the classifications of fireworks?


Fireworks are classified by where they can be safely used and who can use them. This is a number scale that ranges from one to four, represented as F followed by the number. For instance, a firework classified as F1 can be used indoors and by mostly anyone, while a firework classified as F4 can only be used by professionals and typically in highly controlled, outdoor settings.


Below is a table to help illustrate.


Can be used indoors

Available to the general public

Safe viewing distance

Maximum debris distance

Noise level

Category F1



0 metres

1 metre


Category F2



5 metres

3 metres


Category F3



25 metres

20 metres


Category F4







In this regard, always follow the safety instructions found on the packaging when using any type of firework. Use your common sense, as fireworks are not toys and can be dangerous if mishandled.


How to properly store fireworks


When it comes to the storage of fireworks, there are highly specific legal standards that everyone who purchases fireworks has to follow. For the average consumer, only categories F1 to F3 are available, and these can further be broken down into different hazard levels. This is represented as H followed by a number from one to four.


Basically, these classifications refer to how much of a firework you can safely keep with you, and for how long. Consumer fireworks mostly fall between H3 and H4, while more powerful fireworks restricted to professional use fall between H1 and H2.


Again, read the label to know how to safely store fireworks and always err on the side of caution.


UK fireworks purchasing laws


Fireworks in the UK are heavily regulated as evidenced by the strict classifications mentioned above. Here is a general summary of the pertinent information that might concern your firework purchase.


  • The minimum age requirement for buying fireworks in the UK is 18.
  • Fireworks are only sold during certain times of the year. These holidays include Chinese New Year and Diwali, when fireworks are available on the day itself and up to three days prior; from the 15th of October to the 10th of November for Guy Fawkes Night; and December 26th to the 31st for New Year’s Eve. Beyond these dates, fireworks are only available for purchase through licensed sellers.
  • It is illegal to set off fireworks in public spaces.


Final words of caution


To serve as final safety reminders, please remember to not use fireworks when intoxicated. Always read the label for proper storage and use, and remember to only buy fireworks from reputable, licensed sellers.


If you’re looking for a fireworks supplier in Essex, get in touch with us today. We have a showroom in Hornchurch and a website where you can buy fireworks and have them delivered straight to your door!