Licences and permissions Underage sales

Fireworks and sparklers

It is an offence to sell fireworks to anyone under 18.

You must hold a Street Trading Consent with us to sell fireworks and licensed by Greater Manchester Fire Service (0161 736 5866) to store fireworks on your premises.

It is also an offence to sell caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns etc. to anyone under 16.

If you are not sure that the customer is over 18 (or 21 if Challenge 21 policy is in place) ask for proof of age (passport/photo driving licence of PASS accredited proof of age card).

If you are still unsure refuse the sale. You may wish to record the details in a refusals register to show that you are refusing sales.

It is advisable to ensure that your staff are fully trained in order to prevent them making sales of age restricted products. Any training they receive should be documented within a record of training form.

Fireworks can only be sold during the following times, unless a special year-round licence is obtained from the Fire Service:

  • 15 October to 10 November;
  • 26 December to 31 December;
  • First day of Chinese New Year and the three days immediately before this; and 
  • On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately before this.

You must display a notice which states:

"It is illegal to sell adult fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of 18 and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess adult fireworks or sparklers in a public place"

We can supply you with a notice, which complies with the legislation (as the notice has to comply with certain size requirements).

You commit an offence if:

  • you sell fireworks to someone under 18
  • you sell caps, party poppers, throwdowns, novelty matches etc. to anyone under 16
  • you store fireworks without being registered or licensed
  • you sell fireworks outside the specified periods without the appropriate licence
  • you do not display a 'fireworks notice'

Reporting underage sales

If you suspect a retailer of selling any of these products to anyone under the minimum age, please report them via Citizens Advice Bureau. They manage the national Consumer Advice Service, and staff there assess each problem and pass it on to the relevant body, such as Trading Standards.

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