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Explosives and fireworks sales and storage

If it is your intention to store and supply any explosives you may need a licence to do so. This includes the storage of fireworks, ammunition & shooters powders, car air bags and seatbelt pre-tensioners, party poppers and other pyrotechnic articles.

The Explosives Regulations 2014 require you to:

  • take appropriate measures to prevent fire and explosion, to limit the extent of fire and explosion and protect persons from the effects of fire and explosion
  • take all appropriate precautions for preventing unauthorised persons having access to the explosives or the places where they are stored

It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure they are aware of, and comply with the Explosives Regulations 2014 and that you satisfy the specified separation distances.

Further guidance is available at HSE: Explosive Regulations 2014.

If you intend to renew an existing licence you will receive a renewal letter with instructions and an application form. The form must be completed each time you renew.

Fees are set by the Explosives Regulations 2014 and are subject to review.

Fireworks supply

Fireworks can only be supplied or exposed for supply at certain times of the year.

A licence issued under the Fireworks Regulations 2014 allows you to store explosives and supply them.

The specified times are:

  • from 15 October to 10 November
  • from 26 to 31 December
  • on the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding this
  • on the first day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding this

If you wish to supply fireworks outside of these times you must apply for an additional licence under the Fireworks Regulations 2004.

Risk assessments

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 require a risk assessment to be carried out for the storage of explosives.

If you have 5 or more employees the risk assessment must be recorded. Guidance on risk assessments is available at HSE Risk Management FAQs.

Last updated 12 October 2021