Fireworks are widely used to mark public and private celebrations as well as traditional events. Whilst they can add excitement to these occasions they can also frighten and disturb people and animals, cause annoyance, damage and have an adverse impact on air quality. The bright colours and effects in fireworks are produced by chemicals that are released into the atmosphere.

fireworksIf a local authority officer judges noise from fireworks to be a statutory nuisance they can issue an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. As firework noise is short lived, in practice it can prove difficult to locate the source. To avoid noise problems with fireworks we recommend that you:

  • Tell your neighbours about the display
  • Use appropriate fireworks - try to avoid the really noisy ones
  • Make sure pets and other animals are safely away
  • Consider the timing of the display
  • Avoid letting off fireworks in unsuitable weather such as when it is still or misty
  • Locate the fireworks away from buildings that could reflect noise

The Fireworks Regulations 2004 introduce a number of controls:

  • No person under 18 may possess an adult firework in a public place
  • No person shall use an adult firework between the hours of 23.00 and 07.00 - there are exemptions for Chinese New Year, 5 November, Diwali and New Year (the permitted fireworks nights)
  • No person shall supply a category 3 firework that produces a sound pressure level greater than 120dB(A)
  • Anyone supplying adult fireworks must be licensed to do so - there are exemptions for short periods preceding the permitted fireworks nights

The provisions relating to the use of fireworks between 23.00 and 07.00 are enforced by Derbyshire Police. Anyone bothered by noise from fireworks at other times should contact Environmental Health. Additional information is available from the British Fireworks Association, Environmental Protection UK and