Explosive and Firework Storage

The information below is a brief guide, and reference should be made to the regulations for the full text The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005.

These regulations apply to anyone storing explosives and fireworks

  • for work purposes,
  • personal use,
  • recreational use

They apply to voluntary organisations, societies etc who store fireworks preparatory to use for fireworks displays, and to the transport of any explosive materials on any site premises.

They do not apply to:
a. Northern Ireland
b. Transport by road, rail, air or water providing they are not static for more than 24 hours
c. Explosives/fireworks that are in use, i.e. in position pending firing or detonation

How to apply for Explosives and Fireworks Licensing or Registration

Any person who stores/keeps explosives/fireworks must be licensed or registered with the Local Licensing Authority, and must make the necessary application.

To apply of this licence please view our Explosives and Firework Licence Registration | page or contact our Licencing department on 01443 425777

Examples of keeping without licence or registration.

A limited quantity of fireworks/ explosives may be kept, in most cases for limited periods

Guidelines on keeping fireworks


Kilograms up to

For advice apply to

Period of time to keep

Black Powder




Shooters powders




Explosives for use in Quarries



24 Hours

Shooters powders or combined with fireworks



3 days

A combination of explosives in Schedule 1 to Control of Explosives Regulations 1991


Local Authority


Percussion Caps or Small arms ammunition


Local Authority




Local Authority


Fireworks - in the place of intended use


Local Authority

24 Hours

Fireworks - in the place of intended use


Local Authority

3 days

It is generally taken that the foregoing examples are not exhaustive, but do in all cases apply to 'private use', i.e. for use by the keeper (e.g. for a school bonfire) but not for sale. It also applies to local operators who store fireworks prior to firing a professional display.

NOTE: A seller of fireworks may only keep them under license or registration.

Where a greater quantity of explosives is being stored, or the time periods above will be exceeded, then the person and premises must be registered or licensed with the local licensing authority.

Different parts of explosives/firework law are enforced by:

  • the Department of Trade and Industry
  • the Fire Brigade
  • the Health and Safety Executive (or their agents)
  • local Authority Licensing, Trading Standards and other Departments
  • the Police

Registration and Licensing

The premises must be registered or licensed with the Council in the name of the occupier. The maximum quantity of fireworks that may be kept under: -

  • Licence is - up to 2,000 kg of net explosives content.
  • Registration is - up to 0,250 kg of net explosives content.

Fireworks Storage Container(s) maximum contents 12∙5kg (nec)

Where the premises licensed or registered to keep fireworks, is a shop, other similar premises or dwelling, the fireworks should be kept in containers as follows:

In a substantial receptacle that,

  • Contains no more than 12∙5 kg (nec) of fireworks.
  • Is robust, stable, designed to protect against sparks or ignition (Fire Resistant), and will be effective throughout its period of use.
  • Is secure against unauthorised access, or positioned so that no unauthorised person can access them.
  • Is dedicated to the storage of explosives/fireworks only.
  • Is free from electrical wiring, sockets, switches or electrically connected items.
  • Is well away from all flammable or oxidising materials.
  • Is well away from those items likely to cause fire or explosion, e.g. any heating appliance, naked flame etc.
  • Is not placed in a shop or other premises window.

For further advice contact the Licensing Department of your Local Licensing Authority.

Storage of Fireworks

Generally, storage of fireworks for retail sale should be as follows

  • The maximum amount of fireworks that can be kept in a room where the public might go is dependent on the sales floor area, (see the following table).
Guidelines on the amount of fireworks that can be kept on a sales floor

Sales floor area
(Square metres)
Up to

Quantity of fireworks (kgs)

Sales floor area
(Square metres)

Quantity of fireworks (kgs)



























500 and above


  • You can keep fireworks in glass showcases, wooden boxes, cupboards or drawers that comply with the guidance in Fireworks storage containers above. These containers must be locked shut or positioned so that no unauthorised person can reach into or remove them from the premises.
  • No container/receptacle may contain more than 12∙5 kg (nec) of fireworks.
  • Metal containers are not normally recommended for the keeping of fireworks. If involved in fire, and being conductors of heat, they will pass this heat to the contents, which may result in a contained explosion involving flying shards of metal.
  • A quantity of fireworks beyond the limit permitted on the shop floor may be kept. These fireworks aggregated with those on the shop floor must not exceed the maximum total permitted in the premises by licence or registration.
  • They must be stored elsewhere in the building and be where members of the public do not have access. They must be kept in closed containers/receptacles as previously described.
  • Any container used for storing fireworks must be exclusive to fireworks only.
  • Electrical equipment of any description e.g. cabling, sockets, lights, mobile telephones and chargers etc. must be excluded from all containers/receptacles.

Alternative Storage Facilities

The keeping of more than 12∙5 kg (nec) in a storage container, room, or a large walk in steel container (ISO) is permitted with the approval of the Local Authority.

  • It must be a safe and secure building, container or room, not attached to a dwelling, and used only for storing fireworks up to a maximum weight of 2,000 kg (nec). Please contact your local Licensing Authority for further information if you wish to apply for this type of storage facility.
  • Registration allows the storage of up to 250 kg (nec) of fireworks.
  • Licensing allows the storage of up to 2,000 kg (nec) of fireworks.

Exposure of Fireworks for Sale

Empty boxes and/ or dummy fireworks can be used for show (display) purposes.

All due precautions must be taken to prevent accidents by fire or explosion. Fireworks must not be kept dangerously near to oils, paints, matches or any other article of a flammable or explosive nature, and must not be kept in shop windows or on open shelves and counters.

Sale and Display of Fireworks

It is illegal to sell fireworks to any person apparently under the age of eighteen years.

It is illegal to sell Toy fireworks to any person apparently under the age of sixteen years.

NOTE - This applies to such things as caps, cracker snaps, noveltymatches, party poppers, serpents, and throwdowns.

It is illegal to sell fireworks if you are not licensed or registered with the Local Authority..

It is illegal to display fireworks for sale if you are not licensed or registered with the Local Authority.

It is illegal to sell and/or display fireworks for sale outside of the designated fireworks periods unless you are licensed to do so.


Whenever an accident occurs by explosion or fire in registered premises, causing loss of life or personal injury, the occupier of the premises must notify the Health and Safety Executive.

Inspection of Registered Premises

The occupier of licensed or registered premises must allow any authorised officer of the Council to inspect all places and receptacles in which fireworks/explosives are kept.

Useful Links

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Website: www.hse.gov.uk | .

Department of Trade and Industry (DTi) Website: www.dti.gov.uk | .

UK Firework Safety Website: www.fireworksafety.co.uk | .

Explosive Industry Group: www.eig.org.uk | .

Contact Information

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
Environmental Services
Licensing Section
Ty Elai
Dinas Isaf East
CF40 1NY

Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425301

Legislation Applicable

  • Explosives Act 1875 & 1923
  • Fireworks Act 1951
  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • Control of Explosives Regulations 1991
  • The Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997
  • Fireworks Act 2003
  • The Fireworks Regulations 2004
  • Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005.