According to a recent study, the majority of Britons have little to no understanding of the law around fireworks – or the consequences they could face if they breach them.
Local authorities and paramedics across the country have issued a warning in recent days, urging anyone considering hosting a private fireworks display to be aware of their legal and safety responsibilities.
Under English law, the maximum punishment for a serious breach of firework regulations is six months imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
On-the-spot fines can be charged at up to £90 – but what many Britons fail to realise is how easily and accidentally they could find themselves breaking the law.
Serious punishments are typically handed out to those who set rockets or Catherine Wheels alight without taking sensible precautions, but Britons could be unknowingly breaking the law by exceeding a midnight curfew, storing excessive quantities of fireworks without a licence, or purchasing and using prohibited category-four fireworks – which can only be used by professionals.
Britons are also urged to consider the health and safety implications of hosting a private fireworks display.
Last year, research from Policy Expert revealed that insurance claims over Bonfire weekend were more than twice the monthly average, whereas a separate study suggests that Britons are more likely to sustain a fire-related injury in November than any other month.
Adam Powell of Policy Expert, said: “To ensure that you don’t ‘remember, remember the fifth of November’ for all the wrong reasons, it’s important to ensure you take care when using fireworks and lighting bonfires to prevent any nasty accidents”.