Storing fireworks on your premises can pose a severe health and safety hazard if you don’t follow the correct procedures. You cannot legally sell fireworks if your premises are not registered with the Department of Justice (DOJ) – see registering as a fireworks retailer.
Fireworks are explosive devices, and as such are tightly regulated in Northern Ireland. Your storage of fireworks on retail premises must meet legal requirements.
You need to understand your responsibilities and the requirements for safe storage of fireworks, such as:
- you and your staff must take all due precautions to prevent accidents by fire or explosion
- you are responsible for ensuring that your staff are adequately trained in storing and selling fireworks legally
- you may only keep a small quantity of stock in the sales area in locked cabinets
- you have to prevent unauthorised access to the fireworks, such as keeping stock in the sales area out of the reach of customers and keeping doors into storeroom locked
- you should always have a record of the quantity of fireworks you have in your store and in the sales area
If you wish to store fireworks you need to apply to DOJ for registration. You will have to pay a fee, undergo an inspection of your storage arrangements and have them approved. Usually you must also have planning permission to store fireworks in your premises. DOJ will also assess your fitness to store explosives. This will involve consultation with statutory agencies, such as the local council and the police.
If you wish to store large quantities of fireworks for wholesale or powerful fireworks for providing larger displays, a licence may be required. This is more complex than the registration process and you should contact DOJ about this.
You may store a very small quantity of fireworks without having to be registered with DOJ - find a detailed list of fireworks storage exceptions and limits.
Information about who is registered to store and/or sell fireworks is shared with local councils, the Police Service for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and may be shared with other statutory agencies.
You could be prosecuted and fined if you fail to follow the legal requirements for storing fireworks or breach conditions of your registration.