Apply for a fireworks licence and keep communities safe at Halloween - Long

Date published: 07 October 2021

If your Halloween celebrations involve fireworks this year, make sure you stay on the right side of the law by applying for a licence.

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That was the message today from Justice Minister Naomi Long as she highlighted the need for people to act responsibly, comply with the law and use fireworks safely to help avoid related injuries.

Naomi Long said: “It is an offence to buy or be in possession of fireworks without a licence and applications for the Halloween period must be submitted in good time to ensure they can be processed.  Applications must be received by Friday, October 22.

“I urge families, communities and event organisers to do all they can to ensure Halloween is an enjoyable time for everyone. I know that Halloween is a time of celebration for many, however fireworks can cause fear and distress especially amongst older people, people with sensory issues and more vulnerable members of the community. They can also have an adverse effect on pets and farm animals.

I would also encourage people to consider purchasing low noise fireworks.”

It is also important to ensure that young people are kept safe and that they understand the risks of misusing fireworks. Most injuries and incidents could have been avoided if the firework code, which can be read on the NI Direct website, had been followed.

Fireworks must be purchased from a supplier who has been registered by the Department of Justice. Please don’t be tempted to buy from illegal sources as not only could you face prosecution, but the products may not be safe. Registered retailers should be easily identified as they must display their licence or certificate of registration prominently at the point of sale.

Naomi Long said: “I encourage anyone who has information about the illegal sale and use of fireworks to contact the PSNI or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Licence applications and a list of retailers licensed to sell fireworks are available from www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/fireworks. Application forms are also available on NI Direct www.nidirect.gov.uk//articles/fireworks or directly from a registered retailer.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Details on how to apply for a licence, including an application form, can be obtained from NI Direct www.nidirect.gov.uk//articles/fireworks. Guidance for members of the public and information on the law surrounding fireworks can also be obtained at this website. You may also obtain application forms from those businesses registered or licensed to store explosives. Information and advice on using fireworks safely and a list of retailers can also be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/fireworks.

2. Information for retailers regarding the legislation regarding the storage of fireworks is available at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/selling-fireworks

3.  Completed applications forms together with the appropriate fee should be returned to Firearms and Explosives Branch, Room 4.22, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SG.

4.  The Explosive (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 came into operation in May 2002 and made it compulsory for anyone wishing to purchase, possess and use fireworks to obtain a licence.

5.  The licence fee where there are less than 100 spectators is £30 and increases incrementally, depending on the number of spectators. The fireworks listed on your licence are the only fireworks that you can purchase. If you require alternative or additional fireworks, you must have your licence amended before making the purchase.

6. The fireworks code can be viewed on NI Direct www.nidirect.gov.uk/fireworks 

7.  All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email to press.office@justice-ni.gov.uk

8.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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