Halloween is Back with a Bang!!
It would be hard to ignore the fact that Halloween is just around the corner. The popular holiday has a lot of tell-tale signs that it is fast approaching; Witches and ghosts on public display, an abundance of pumpkins on shop shelves and of course, colourful fireworks lighting the night sky.
Northern Ireland is home to some of the most stringent laws regulating the use of fireworks in the world. When used correctly, it is hard to see how anyone could but be entertained by the dramatics of a well-executed firework display but it is impossible to ignore the dangers that go hand in hand with these colourful explosives…
On Halloween Night 2015, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service received 149 calls and attended 113 incidents across Northern Ireland – a rise of 11% on 2014.
Over the 2015 Halloween period, 15 people were admitted to accident and emergency departments across Northern Ireland as a direct result of the misuse of fireworks. This is in addition to the thousands of cases of damage caused to property every year. It is for this reason that there are laws in place to deter the public from harming themselves or others.
Did You Know: Firework offences carry a maximum fine of £5000, or a three-month prison sentence.
Under the legislation passed in 2002, any outdoor fireworks cannot be handled without a licence. So if you are planning a Halloween party or get together involving a firework display you should make an application via the NI Direct website, otherwise you could find yourself breaking the law.
When do I need a licence?
A licence is required for all fireworks. The only notable exception being sparklers. Licences are usually only granted between the hours of 07:00 and 23:00, with exceptions being made for New Year’s Eve.
Where can I use fireworks?
Once a licence has been granted, the fireworks must be used on private property unless otherwise granted. It is always illegal to light fireworks in the street or in public places.
Every year, hundreds of people across Northern Ireland fall victim to the abuse of fireworks, be this through personal injury, damage to property or simply a nuisance due to the ongoing noise pollution. Should you feel that you fall into any of these categories and have suffered a loss that wasn’t your fault, give MTB Solicitors a call where you will receive friendly and professional advice as to what actions you may be entitled to take.
Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween from MTB Solicitors!