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Firework Safety Advice

Fireworks are enjoyed at Bonfire Night and New Year, but please remember that the safest way to enjoy them is to go to a professionally organised event.

Staffordshire County Council has launched a new Fireworks Hotline which answers firework queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Staffordshire residents can call the Hotline on 0845 40 20 334. Information on fireworks includes – when and where they can be sold – how they should be used – and when they cannot be let off.  Information about firework problems will be taken and passed to the appropriate enforcement agency – Trading Standards, Fire, Police or Environmental Health – who will take action as necessary. 

The Hotline is not for emergencies such as a bonfire out of control or an injury caused by a firework.  In these circumstances people should continue to dial 999.

This page provides useful information to remember when coming into contact with fireworks.

  • Fireworks are explosives logoAlways supervise children around fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors
  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114
  • Don’t Drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box
  • Follow the instructions on each firework
  • Light them at arms length, using a taper
  • Stand well back
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it has gone off, it could still explode
  • Never put firework in your pocket or throw them
  • Retailers selling fireworks must be registered with Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, who investigate problems with unsafe products.

Before the display

  • Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer
  • Inform neighbours and be aware of their concerns
  • Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of garden and conform to British Standards (BS7114)
  • Read the instructions in the daylight
  • One person should be responsible for all the fireworks

During the display

  • Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
  • Stand well back and keep others back
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
  • Always supervise children
  • Store fireworks in a metal box, kept closed between use
  • Keep pets indoors

After the display

  • Use tongs or gloves to collect spent fireworks


  • Should be at least 18 metres (60ft) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds.
  • Use domestic firelighters
  • Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids


  • Unsuitable for children under five years of age
  • Light one at a time
  • Wear gloves when holding sparklers
  • Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water

If possible always try to go to an organised firework display

Dogs And Cats


  • Keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.
  • Close all the windows and doors to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animal is use to the sounds of the television or radio, switch them on to block out the noise of the fireworks
  • Make sure your pet is always wearing some form of easily readable identification, even in the house. By law they should have a collar and tag, but you may also think about fitting them with a microchip.


  • Take your dog to a firework display. Even if your dog does not bark or whimper at fireworks it doesn’t mean he’s happy. Excessive panting and yawning can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.
  • Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, i.e. out the shop whilst you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car
  • Walk your dog while fireworks are going off
  • Shout at your pet if it is frightened, as you will only make it more stressed

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  • Last Updated: 24 March 2011
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