13 Oct, 2022
10 minutes

What Time Do Fireworks Have to Stop?

Fireworks Night is fast approaching, and if you’re not looking for one of the best places in Manchester to watch fireworks, you’re probably getting ready to put on your own display of garden fireworks, or join family and friends doing so.

Although we love fireworks and how much our customers do too, we know they can be a nuisance to other people if we don’t all abide by firework restrictions. Not only this, but you could also land a fine if you’re caught breaking the UK law on fireworks.

Here's what to know about when you can and can’t set off fireworks.

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What does the UK law say about when to set off fireworks?

In the UK, there are time restrictions on when fireworks can be set off. These are in place for a few different reasons that benefit everyone.

- To reduce noise pollution.

- To respect others around that may find fireworks unpleasant or even distressing.

- To respect pet owners (dogs can be quite frightened of fireworks).

- To help keep everyone safe.

The UK government doesn’t have many rules about using fireworks, but some simple but highly important ones help reduce the chance of an accident or incident. These rules are there not only to protect consumers but business owners and the authorities that need to be ready to help anyone in a dangerous situation.

1. Fireworks can only be bought by people over the age of 18.

2. Category 4 fireworks can only be used by licensed professionals.

3. Fireworks can only be bought from licensed retailers.

4. Fireworks cannot be used in public spaces.

5. Fireworks can only be set off at certain times of the day (see below).

If you want to organise a community firework display, for example, in a local park, you will need to contact your local authority to get permission. We cover exactly what you need to do to organise a public firework event in our article Where Can You Set Off Fireworks?

When it comes to buying fireworks, most shops will have a licence which means they can only sell fireworks at certain times of the year. These are the following.

- 15th of October to 10th of November

- 26th to 31st of December

- Three days before Diwali

- Three days before Chinese New Yea

However, some shops are fully licenced to sell fireworks all year round—Chorlton Fireworks is a fully licenced retailer, meaning we sell fireworks all year. We're the shop for you if you need fireworks for a wedding or birthday, or you own a business that uses indoor fireworks like ice fountains.

What time can fireworks be let off?

The earliest you can legally set off fireworks is 7am! You’re legally allowed to set off fireworks at 7am every day of the year. There’s no variation in the start time for using fireworks.

You might not immediately think anyone wants to put on a firework display in the morning. But, in fact, we do sell daytime fireworks.

These are fireworks that show up against the daytime sky. Fireworks like smoke grenades are excellent for daytime events as their vibrant colours are highly visible, even in the sunlight. Smoke grenades are perfect gender reveal fireworks or can be used in photoshoots.

How late can you set off fireworks?

Man watching fireworks

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The cut-off time for fireworks is different depending on the time of the year. On Fireworks Night, fireworks must stop at 12 midnight. On Diwali, Chinese New Year, and New Year’s Eve, you must stop setting off fireworks at 1am. This is because fireworks usually start at midnight and the turn of the new year, so people need some time to carry out fireworks shows and celebrations.

On any other day of the year, fireworks have to stop at 11pm. If you set off fireworks outside of these stated times you could face an on-the-spot fine.

Can you hear fireworks in your area? In our article Why are There Fireworks Tonight? we show you how to find out where they’re coming from.

Where can you watch fireworks for Fireworks Night or New Year’s Eve? Check out our articles for the inside scoop from the top firework seller in the North West.

- Where to Watch Fireworks? Manchester Bonfire Night 2022

- The Best New Year's Eve Fireworks Recommended by Experts

- London New Year Fireworks: Everything You Need to Know

- Find a Fireworks Display (or Make One of Your Own)

Does the type of fireworks affect when I can use it?

The government states times don’t change if you’re using a very loud firework or a low-noise firework. They all come under the same rules. If you’ve decided to make your own firework display, here’s a guide to the noise level you can expect from each type.


Noise level: medium/high

The classic firework, a rocket shoots high into the sky and bursts. Most rockets contain an element called a salute which is responsible for making a loud dramatic noise when it bursts. Low-noise rockets will not contain a salute but still make noise when they burst. The rocket's height means its noise will carry further than other types of fireworks.

Compound Fireworks

Noise level: high

Compound fireworks and barrage fireworks consist of multiple shots attached to a single fuse. These are often arranged on a board or in a grid and will fire off a whole display of fireworks once lit. These are great if you have little experience putting on firework shows because they’re curated by professionals and require hardly any skill or input to pull off.

But the volume can become quite high because of the number of fireworks being ignited in quick succession. Compound fireworks will also include several rockets—another high-volume firework type.


Noise level: high

Mines are considered the loudest firework type. These fireworks go off at ground level, so they’re usually the loudest in the immediate surroundings. Many mine fireworks have several ‘levels’ to them, with rockets being activated at different heights. The signature feature of a mine is that all the shots burst simultaneously, making it a very loud experience.

Smoke Grenades

Noise level: low

Smoke grenades are different to the many classic types of fireworks. They don’t ‘explode’ in the same same as rockets. Smoke grenades emit a plume of thick, coloured smoke. As such, they’re very quiet—almost silent.

Roman Candles

Noise level: medium/low

Roman candles eject stars and shells from a long cylinder. They are not usually as dramatic as rockets, but their shells are shot high into the sky, meaning their noise could carry.


Noise level: medium/low

Fountains are activated at a very low level and emit a soft shower of light from the top of a cone. Because of their behaviour, fountains are quite a low-noise firework. Their sound usually consists of fizzing with some low noise pops. Some fountains do include exploding shells, so it’s a good idea to read the product description if you want a quieter one.

Catherine Wheel

Noise level: low

A Catherine wheel is tied to a post and spins to create an exciting circular firework display. Usually, there aren’t any bursts associated with Catherine wheels which mainly display stars and sparks. Catherine wheels also emit a fizzing noise; generally, these are low-noise fireworks.


Noise level: low

The smallest fireworks, sparklers as, of course, very low noise as they can be held at arm’s length safely.


Noise level: medium/low

Flares shoot individual bursts up into the air. These fireworks generally don’t culminate in a burst, so there’s little cause for loud noise. You can get flares that emit multiple plumes or just one singular plume.

Read up on firework safety before you begin getting ready for your firework display and find out how to set up and set off each type of firework. You can also browse our fireworks blog for loads of useful information and tips on having a great Fireworks Night.

It is illegal for under 18s to purchase or Attempt to purchase fireworks
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