; Storing Fireworks
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Storing Fireworks


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									A Guide for Retailers on Registration and the Storage
                  of Fireworks
The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations (MSER) came into force on 26 th
April 2005 and impose storage requirements for explosives, including fireworks.

In general, MSER requires any person who stores explosives to be registered or
licensed, although there are some exemptions for the storage of small quantities of
explosives, or where explosives are stored only for short periods of time (although you
must still ensure that they are stored safely and in accordance with MSER). Please
contact us if you would like further advice on these exemptions.

This leaflet summarises the requirements of ‘registration’ for the storage of fireworks sold
in retail premises to members of the public. Within the Borough of Blackburn With
Darwen, the Trading Standards Service administers this registration.

Throughout the leaflet, reference is made to the ‘Net Mass’ (NM) of fireworks – the actual
quantity of explosive contained within the fireworks. This is not the same as gross weight,
which includes all the fireworks’ immediate packaging, casings etc. If you do not know the
Net Mass of a firework, it is taken to be ¼ of its gross weight, for example, if fireworks
weigh 1000kg gross weight, they will have a Net Mass of 250kg.

How much can I store under a registration?
You are permitted to store up to 250kg NM (i.e. 1000kg gross weight) of Hazard Type 4

Most fireworks for sale in retail premises are labelled 1.4G on their transit boxes and are
generally classified as Hazard Type 4.

You are reminded that this is the maximum quantity that you may store. In some
circumstances, however, you will not be able to keep this amount for safety reasons and
a reduced amount must then be kept.

If you store larger fireworks that are labelled on their transit boxes as 1.3G, these will
generally be classified as Hazard Type 3. If you store any Hazard Type 3 fireworks, the
quantity that may be stored and rules for storage are different to that detailed in this
leaflet, so you will need to contact us for further advice. It is also likely that it will be illegal
to sell these fireworks to members of the public.

If you store more than 250kg NM of Hazard Type 4 fireworks, then you will need to be
‘licensed’ with Trading Standards or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Again, the
quantity that may be stored and rules for storage will be different to that detailed in this
leaflet, so you will need to contact us for further advice.

How must I store the fireworks?
Any person who stores fireworks must take appropriate measures to-
        1. Prevent fire or explosion;
        2. Limit the extent of fire or explosion, including measures to prevent the
           spreading of fires and explosions; and
        3. Protect persons from the effect of fire or explosion.

You should carry out a risk assessment and take appropriate measures to control the
risks identified. The HSE have produced a ‘Fireworks in shops retailers risk assessment
checklist’ that can be used as part of this risk assessment. A copy is available on the
HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/explosives under Manufacture and storage.

Detailed guidance on how fireworks should be stored and measures that should be taken
can be found in the ‘Manufacture and Storage of Explosives, Approved Code of Practice
and Guidance’ available from the HSE. You can order a copy from HSE Books at
www.hsebooks.com telephone 01787 881165. Some of the main requirements for
registration and firework storage are summarised below.

Where must fireworks be stored?
It is preferable that fireworks are kept in a place that is used exclusively for their storage.
This could be in either:
      A suitably constructed building used solely for firework storage; or
      A suitable room used solely for firework storage.

Where it is not possible to reserve a place exclusively for fireworks, the storage
arrangements must be designed to prevent the spreading of fire. This would normally
involve the fireworks being kept in closed, fire resistant storage cupboards, cabinets or
containers used solely for firework storage.

You must ensure that the place of storage is suitable for the quantity of fireworks that you

For any storage of fireworks, you must ensure that:

        All fireworks and their storage locations are kept well away from flammable
         substances, materials that can easily catch fire and burn (for example, bulk
         quantities of paper and cardboard), and other hazardous substances (for
         example, white spirit, drain cleaner, fertilisers, paint or matches);
        The quantities of fireworks being stored, handled or displayed in areas where
         people work or gather is controlled;
        Other chemicals do not contaminate the fireworks;
        Smoking is not allowed near the fireworks;
        Sources of heat, such as portable heaters, are kept well away from fireworks;
        Any electrics or lighting do not pose a risk of ignition. Electrical equipment (other
         than light fittings and fire detection equipment) must be removed and plugs
         blanked off. Electrics and lighting in storage cabinets and containers in which
         fireworks are stored must be disconnected;
        The fireworks are kept in closed transport packaging;
        Fireworks are not emptied into metal dustbins;
        The fireworks are protected from damp;
        Entry to the room or store used for storage of the fireworks is restricted to those
         members of staff who need to be there;
        The storage area must be kept clean of loose powder and unwanted empty

        There are adequate and accessible fire escapes allowing people to escape
        There is no obstruction of fire escape routes;
        Suitable lightning protection for the store is present (unless the storage of the
         fireworks is temporary, for example, for no more than a few weeks on a seasonal

        A suitable fire warning system and fire detection system is installed. This should
         be suitable for the site and appropriate to the level of risk presented. For
         example, a smoke alarm may be appropriate in a shop storing a small quantity of
         fireworks but inadequate for larger stores.

Storage and display of fireworks in the shop sales area
Fireworks on the shop floor must be kept:
     In a designated area well away from sources of ignition (for example, lit
       cigarettes, naked flames, portable heaters); and
     In closed display cases, storage cupboards or cabinets (but NOT in shop
       windows). These should be made of a material that doesn’t readily catch fire,
       such as wood or metal.

Smoking must not be allowed anywhere where fireworks are stored or sold. ‘No Smoking’
notices should be displayed.

Display cases and cabinets must:
      Be designed to protect against sparks and other sources of ignition;
      Not permit unauthorised access to the fireworks by members of the public
         (normally, this would mean using lockable cases that are locked when
      Not be used to store goods other than fireworks;
      Not contain lights or other electrical fittings (such fittings must be disconnected
         and measures taken to prevent the apparatus being inadvertently reconnected);
      Be kept clean and dry.

Live fireworks must not be kept on open display.

The explosive content in items such as party poppers, toy caps and Christmas crackers
is, however, so small that, in the quantities in which they are normally found on retail
premises, they present minimal risk. These articles may be kept on open display in their
retail packaging.

How much can I keep in the sales area?
You must ensure that only safe levels of fireworks are kept in the sales area. In any
event, the amount on the shop floor must not exceed the levels set out in the following

It must be stressed that these are the maximum quantities that may be kept. In certain
circumstances, for example, where significant quantities of flammable materials are
present, then the amount that may be stored will be reduced.

Fireworks must be divided between storage cabinets or display cases, each holding no
more than 12.5kg NM (i.e. 50kg gross).

Storage adjoining or in the same building as domestic or sleeping accommodation
If fireworks are kept in a store within or adjoining a building containing domestic or
sleeping accommodation, suitable steps must be taken to protect the residents of those
premises in the event of fire. In particular, if more than 75kg NM (300kg gross) of Hazard

Type 4 fireworks are kept in such circumstances, the following specific precautions must
be taken:
Total floor area of the sales   Maximum       quantity   of   Maximum       quantity     of
area (square meters)            fireworks that may be kept    fireworks that may be kept
                                on the shop floor (Net Mass   on the shop floor (gross kg)
Up to 20                                    12.5                            50
Up to 40                                     15                             60
Up to 60                                     20                             80
Up to 80                                     25                            100
Up to 100                                    30                            120
Up to 150                                    35                            140
Up to 200                                    40                            160
Up to 250                                    45                            180
Up to 300                                    50                            200
Up to 350                                    55                            220
Up to 400                                    60                            240
Up to 450                                    65                            260
Up to 500                                    70                            280
Over 500                                     75                            300

        A fire detection system must be installed in the shop;
        The domestic parts of the building must have access/exit routes that are fire-
         separated from the firework store;
        There must be suitable fire separation between the firework store and the
         domestic accommodation (for example, doors and floors/ceilings offering 30
         minutes fire resistance); and
        The store must be closed off and secured from the domestic part of the property
         to prevent unauthorised access (including access by children connected with the
         domestic accommodation) and to prevent the accidental introduction of sources
         of ignition.

Bulk Storage/Shipping/ISO Containers
If ISO containers (or similar fully enclosed metal storage units) are used for firework
storage, they must be kept in an area away from public access. Measures must be taken
to prevent smoking in the immediate area of the container.

Where it is necessary to use an area of a car park, it is essential to take measures to
prevent arson or other malicious attack. The ISO or similar container must be under
constant supervision, or other physical measures must be taken to prevent unauthorised
access to the area around the container. Cars and vehicles must not be permitted to park
within 3 meters of the container. Where the container is kept in the goods delivery yard, it
is important to put it in a suitable place in order to reduce the risk of it being hit by

                   Environmental Health and Trading Standards Service
                         Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
                             3-5 Salford, Blackburn, BB1 6HG
                                       01254 222502


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