Here in America, a good many of us will celebrate our country’s independence by either blowing up a sizable chunk of it*(along with parts of our bodies) or watching one of many professional fireworks shows. For those who choose to do the former, exactly what fireworks an individual who’s not a professional pyrotechnic can lawfully shoot off varies wildly according to the state, county, or city you’re in. In some places (like Indian reservations and–I believe–much of Texas), just about everything (bottle rockets, sky rockets, shells, firecrackers, helicopters, Roman candles, fountains, sparklers, snakes, etc) is legal for about a week around Independence Day (or, in some places, New Year’s Eve). In others, you’re just limited to “safe and sane” (i.e., fountains, sparklers, and snakes) fireworks. And, in places like where I live, even lighting up a sparkler can get you fined several hundred dollars–or worse.
Anyway, since small explosives play such a big role in our celebration of the Fourth of July and the UK’s celebration of Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th, I was wondering what the fireworks laws are like in the UK. What’s legal and what isn’t? Isn’t only limited to certain times of year like Guy Fawkes and New Year’s Eve? Do the laws vary according various counties and jurisdictions? If they’re illegal, do the authorities really crack down on their use?
*To quote the Apu-like convenience store clerk - Simpsons