New firework laws you must follow this Bonfire Night to avoid fine or jail

Lanarkshire revellers face a hefty fine or a jail sentence if they don’t follow strict laws on fireworks during Bonfire Night celebrations this year.

Big changes to the law in 2021 means it’s now illegal to set off fireworks before 6pm and after 11pm. This extends to midnight on November 5 and 1am on New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.

There have also been strict rules imposed on the sales of fireworks.

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You can only purchase fireworks between 7am and 6pm on any day of the year. Members of the public are also only allowed to purchase 5kg of fireworks at any one time.

Sales will also only be restricted to F2 and F3 category fireworks, with F4 pyrotechnics only available for firework professionals.

Supplying F2 or F3 fireworks to any person under 18 or supplying F1 fireworks to any person under 16 is a fine of up to £5,000 of up to six months imprisonment.

The Fireworks Regulations 2004 act means that using fireworks illegally could land you with a fine of up to £5000 or a prison sentence of up to six months.

Fixed penalty notices of £80 may also be issued to people who throw of discharge a firework in a street or public place.

The legislation states that fireworks should only be let off on private land – such as a garden – or on land where a landowner has given permission.

The Fireworks (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2021 came into effect in June.

If you are looking to enjoy fireworks, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) always advise to attend a safe, organised and public display.

The period around November 5 is traditionally one of the busiest for fire crews who are needed for real emergencies. Attending bonfires can cost lifesaving minutes getting to a house fire.

Last year, SFRS said that there were 12 reported attacks on firefighters during Bonfire Night. The fire service also responded to 1100 calls during an eight hour period that evening in 2020.

Alasdair Perry from SFRS said: “For the second year running Bonfire Night will be significantly different to previous years as some large scale public events across the country are being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, and in Glasgow due to the COP26 event.

“The Service is well resourced and prepared for this annual period of celebrations that includes Hallowe’en, Diwali and Bonfire Night, as well as this year COP26, and we have robust measures in place to ensure we can continue to respond to emergencies.

“There is no doubt that we welcome the continuing support of our communities – by following all available safety guidance from ourselves and our partners, they can help reduce the risk of harm wherever possible.

“What we’re asking this year is for the public to consider the risks of hosting a private event involving either fire or fireworks.

“Every year people are injured by bonfires and fireworks and admitted to hospital – and children are particularly at risk.

“We are therefore strongly encouraging anyone who is considering having a private event to think again. Those who choose to do so should familiarise themselves with the fireworks code and fire safety guidance.

“Do not take risks because the consequences can be devastating.”

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