Ah, Bonfire Night! An evening where the sky becomes a kaleidoscope of colours and our faces are warmed by the crackling glow of a fire. It’s a celebration that brings people across the UK together but, amidst the captivating sights and sounds, lurks a less than sparkly statistic.
Bonfire Night sees a spike in car accidents, especially ones involving children. So, how do we enjoy the magic of the evening, whilst keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe? One way is by paying careful attention to how we transport those dazzling fireworks to our celebration spots.
Believe it or not, carrying fireworks in your vehicle isn’t as simple as tossing them in the boot and heading off to your festivities. There’s a bundle of rules wrapped around the safe and legal transportation of fireworks, and slipping up could see you faced with fines soaring into the hundreds.
Navigating Firework Rules This Bonfire Night
It's all fun and games until the rules come into play, right? We are here to make even the legal bits a breeze. Before you pack up your vehicle with an array of sparkling fireworks and zoom off into the night, let’s dive into the details to make sure your evening is dampened by any legal surprises.
The 50kg Rule: A Hefty Matter
The law is pretty clear when it comes to buying and transporting fireworks: unless you’re holding a valid registration or licence, you’re limited to 50kg.
That might sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised how quickly it adds up with a few boxes of Catherine wheels and rockets in the boot.
The reason behind this isn’t to be a party pooper — it’s to ensure safety on the roads and minimise the risks associated with transporting explosive materials.
Penalties, Points, and Payouts: The Consequences
Ignoring the 50kg rule or other guidelines for safe transportation of fireworks can burn a hole in your festivities and your wallet.
If you’re caught breaking these rules, a stark £300 fine could be coming your way. And it doesn’t stop there - you’ll also be slapped with six penalty points on your driving licence.
But wait, there’s a sparkler-sized kicker: violating these rules could also invalidate your insurance cover. That means if you have an accident or need to make a claim, you’ll be dipping into your own pocket to cover the costs. Talk about taking the snap, crackle and pop out of your evening.
Steering Clear of Trouble: How to Transport Fireworks Safely
Fireworks: a cascade of colours, moments of awe, and a collective “Ooh” and “Aah” from the crowd. But behind the fun and spectacle, there is a real danger. That’s why, even if you’re well under the 50kg limit, making sure your fireworks are transported safely is still hugely important.
Planning your own sky-lighting display this Bonfire Night? Let’s walk through a few fundamental steps to make sure the journey from shop to showcase is smooth and safe.
Check your insurance
Before your fireworks even leave the shop, make sure your car insurance covers their transport. Some providers extend coverage for drivers transporting fireworks intended for personal displays, but never assume - always confirm!
Remove anything flammable
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember - remove anything combustible from your car. And we aren’t just talking about spare jerry cans of fuel. Whether it’s paint thinner or matches, anything flammable has to go.
Get the right packaging
Pre-packed fireworks usually come nestled in spark-resistant packaging. However, individually sold items may not. To sidestep unnecessary risks, keep them in a large, lidded plastic container, like a household storage box.
Keep them in the boot
It might seem convenient to pop the fireworks on the back seat, especially if the boot is full. But in the spirit of safety, ensuring they’re as far from the passenger area as possible is a good idea, adding a layer of protection between you and them.
Move them inside
A vehicle left in the overnight chill can become a damp environment, especially if it rains. This can make the explosive material inside your fireworks unstable, or even cause it to leak in your car. That’s why you should move them (still in the box) to a dry, cool, indoor space away from the little ones.