Stay legal, safe and considerate if you are planning fireworks this Halloween

Date published: 08 September 2023

If you are planning to buy fireworks this Halloween, it’s time to apply for a licence.

firework graphic - closing date for applications 20 october

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 be processed.  
Applications must be received by the Department of Justice by close of play on Friday 20 October 2023.

Fireworks must be purchased from a retailer who has been registered by the Department of Justice.  Fireworks bought from illegal sources may result in prosecution and the fireworks may not be safe.

Richard Pengelly CB, Permanent Secretary, Department of Justice said: “We would like everyone who is planning to use fireworks to celebrate Halloween to have a safe, enjoyable event. So please make sure you get a licence to stay within the law. Many people enjoy fireworks, however others do not, so it is important to be considerate of the needs of others and  enjoy fireworks responsibly.”

Fireworks can cause distress to vulnerable people across our communities, some family pets and farm animals can be adversely affected, so please consider the alternative of low noise fireworks.

Licence applications and a list of registered firework retailers licensed to sell fireworks are available on the NIDirect website 

Anyone who has information about the illegal sale and use of fireworks should contact the PSNI or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Please go to NI Direct website to get:

  • details on how to apply for a licence, including an application form;
  • a list of retailers;
  • Guidance for members of the public and information on the law surrounding fireworks and
  • Information and advice on using fireworks safely.

2.  Information for retailers on the legislation regarding the storage of fireworks is available on the NIbusinessinfo website 

3.  Completed application forms together with the appropriate fee should be returned to Firearms and Explosives Branch, Room B4.22, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SG.

4.  The Explosive (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 which have been in operation for over 20 years make 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. Only the fireworks listed on the  licence are the fireworks that can be purchased. If you require alternative or additional fireworks, you must contact the Department’s Firearms and Explosives Branch to have your licence amended before making the purchase.

6.  Media enquiries to

7.  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 out of hours 028 9037 8110.



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