New Year’s Eve fireworks safety tips for Oxfordshire residents

Residents are being given fireworks safety tips from Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team to help reduce the risks of accidents on New Year’s Eve.  

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “Organised fireworks displays are more fun, cheaper and safer than letting off your own fireworks to welcome the new year. However, if you are planning on using fireworks for a private event, please follow the fireworks safety code.

“Remember, only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer. Before purchasing, seek advice on the suitability of fireworks for the space available, and check that they meet current safety standards.”

  • Only buy fireworks that are UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed), CE or BS EN 15947 marked compliant.
  • Buy from reputable and licensed shops and ask advice before buying.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed, metal box.
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  • Never return to a firework that has not gone off, and never throw used or unused fireworks onto a bonfire.
  • Never drink alcohol while setting off fireworks.
  • Always supervise children and don’t give sparklers to a child under five.
  • Keep some buckets of water nearby.
  • Have consideration for those around you, including notifying neighbours who might be noise sensitive, or have pets or farm animals. People are more likely to plan to protect pets and other animals if fireworks are let off on traditional dates.
  • Consider where fireworks and debris might fall, ensuring safety distances are provided for people to keep safe. Safety distances are provided on each firework label or package. These are minimum distances, so follow instructions.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service discourages the releasing of flying lanterns because of the fire safety risks they pose. Please be mindful of the following:

  • They can travel a considerable distance and their descent can’t be controlled.
  • Do not launch them near thatch properties, dry crops/land, main roadways, or overhead obstructions such as trees and power cables.
  • Do not attach anything to the lantern as this may cause instability and the lantern to catch fire.

Reporting unlicenced retailers

Anyone with concerns that retailers are not licensed or if shops are not storing fireworks appropriately, selling fireworks that do not display appropriate safety marks or selling to anyone under 18, please contact trading standards on 0808 223 1133.

Your Oxfordshire

Click Sign up to hear from us and receive the latest news and updates in our fortnightly newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.