Be Safe Not Sorry

Illegal Bonfires & Fireworks Misuse

As well as being illegal, bonfires in a public places are extremely dangerous.

  • Fire can easily spread to nearby buildings, trees & fences
  • Fire can travel at a speed of up to 14mph across a field - that's around the same speed as riding a bike.
  • If you throw plastics, rubber or painted materials onto a fire, they produce fumes which are toxic to people.
  • Even by lighting a small fire in a public space, you can put somebody else's life at risk, because if the fire service is called out to put out the small fire - it could stop them from attending to other emergencies - such as house fires.

Those caught building illegal bonfires could face:

  • Criminal prosecution.
  • A fixed penalty notice or on the spot fine.
  • An acceptable behaviour contract.
  • A civil injunction.

Fireworks - The Law

  • It is an offence (punishable by fine) to let fireworks off in a public place.
  • The age limit for buying most fireworks is 18.
  • All sparkler packets must carry the parental warning: 'Warning: not to be given to children
    under five years of age'.
  • It is against the law to sell or supply bangers, aerial shells, mini rockets and some types of
    bigger roman candles to the public.
  • Some fireworks, such as party poppers, can be sold to people over 16 years of age.
  • It is illegal for shopkeepers to break open retail packets of fireworks and sell them individually.
    This is because the instructions are printed on the packet and not on the individual fireworks.
    Fireworks for individual sale do not come in packs.
  • You can't set off fireworks after 11pm, (except for Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight and
    New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am).

Tackling Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)

We will be running Stay Safe Operations on both Halloween & bonfire night - to remove young vulnerable people (those who may be at risk of becoming involved in crime & asb, or of becoming a victim of crime themselves) off the streets and take them to a safe place.

To dowse out any anti-social behaviour caused by the minority, our partners in Merseyside Police, will be patrolling local neighbourhoods regularly to ensure people can enjoy the festivities safely - but they can't do this alone and ask for parents and guardians to help by being aware of their children's whereabouts and actions.

Report ASB

If you know of anybody letting off fireworks dangerously, committing anti-social behaviour or damaging your area purposely to build illegal bonfires, please report them to the Police on 101 or via the Police Contact Centre on Facebook & twitter @MerPolCC ( If it's an emergency call 999).