Noise from Fireworks at Night
Fireworks regulations restrict the level of noise from fireworks to 120dB. Trading Standards officers will check this limit through the manufacturers. The larger more powerful display fireworks are only allowed to be possessed by professionals; whereas it is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to be sold or possess any fireworks. Anyone caught throwing fireworks in the street can be fined under the Explosives Act 1875; which is enforced by the Police.
The Fireworks Regulations 2004 limit the use of fireworks at night in England and Wales (which is set as between the hours of 11pm and 7am). There are exceptions to this rule which include the following times:
- Until 1am following the first day of Chinese New Year.
- Until midnight on the 5th of November.
- Until 1am on the day following Diwali.
- Until 1am on the day following the 31st of December.
The time limits imposed by the Fireworks Regulations are enforced by the Police rather than by the local authority. You can contact the Police using the 101 number for non-emergency calls. If they are unable to attend on the night they may be able to follow up your inquiry through a neighbourhood officer retrospectively.
In most cases statutory nuisance procedures will not be able to be used to tackle firework noise as, in most cases, the activity is transient and is carried out before the permitted hours. However, where commercial venues (particularly those carrying out functions) regularly set off fireworks they are more likely to fall within the scope of statutory nuisance (and sometimes licensing rules). The officer will take into account how regularly they cause disturbance. If they are a licensed premises or club they may also be subject to conditions and a limit could be placed on the number of displays taking place.