We all love the excitement that comes along with putting together your own firework display, no matter which occasion you are celebrating. However, before you buy fireworks and start planning the show, there are a few things you need to know about firework safety and garden sizes. It is recommended that you follow firing distance guidance to keep you and your guests safe, so to help you, we have put together this handy guide on the fireworks you can set off according to your garden size.
Fireworks are classified by a variety of categories, and you should find the category outlined in the item information on your chosen firework. You should see F1, F2, F3 or F4 clearly labelled, and these categories relate to the type, purpose, and level of hazard.
- Category F1 – Indoor or throwdown fireworks – this category presents a very low hazard and the fireworks are intended for use in confined areas, such as inside domestic buildings. These fireworks can include firecrackers, bangers, and party poppers.
- Category F2 – Small garden fireworks – this category presents a low hazard and are suitable for use in a small garden with a firing distance of at least 8 metres. However, some F2 fireworks have different firing and spectator distance, varying between 8 and 15 metres, so it is always best to check. These fireworks can include small fountains, Roman candles, and Catherine wheels.
- Category F3 – Large garden or display fireworks – this category presents a medium hazard, so they should only be used in a large garden or in an open area, such as a field. These fireworks require a greater amount of firing distance at 25 metres for the best safety practices, and can include larger rockets and firework cakes.
- Category F4 – Professional fireworks – this category presents a high hazard, so these fireworks are only intended for use by professionals with specialist knowledge or large displays. This type of firework should never be used in a garden space and should only be handled be experienced individuals.
What is the impact of firework misuse?
It is essential that you follow the guidance of the categories, otherwise the fireworks could cause significant damage to yours or other people’s property. If used irresponsibly, fireworks can also harm people and animals, so you should always keep the area around the firing zone clear and maintain enough distance. It is also key to remember that there is a fire hazard to fireworks, as well as the danger from the explosions.
This is why members of the public are only able to use fireworks on private property, such as in their garden, and only specialists can use them in public places for larger displays.
Who can use fireworks?
In accordance with The Fireworks Regulations 2004 and The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015:
- Anyone over 18 can buy, carry or use category F1, F2 or F3 fireworks
- Anyone over 16 can only buy, carry or use category F1 fireworks
- Only licensed professionals can buy, carry or use category F4 fireworks
- It is an offence to throw or set off any firework (including category F1) in or into any highway, street or public space
- Fireworks cannot be used on the street or in a public place, unless part of an organised event by licensed professionals
If you have any more questions about the types of fireworks you can set off in your garden, check the manufacturer’s website first before buying, or visit the British Fireworks Association for further guidance.