Tighter restrictions on sale of fireworks could be introduced

Community safety minister Ash Denham updated MSPs on the work of the Firework Review Group.

Tighter restrictions on sale of fireworks could be introduced Getty Images

New restrictions on how fireworks are bought and used could be introduced as part of a “fundamental shift”, according to the community safety minister.

Ash Denham said “no firework zones” could be enforced in certain areas while those buying the pyrotechnics may have to agree to mandatory conditions on their use.

Denham updated MSPs on the work of the Firework Review Group, which is led by former chief fire officer Alasdair Hay.

She told MSPs the group’s consultation received more than 16,000 responses, including from communities that have been experienced misuse of fireworks.

Denham told the Scottish Parliament: “The group has recommended to me that a fundamental shift is required in how fireworks are accessed and used, and that this is done through the introduction of a comprehensive set of measures.”

These include the introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are bought from shops, requiring customers to agree to use them responsibly.

Restrictions on the times of day fireworks can be bought and set off are also proposed.

The group further recommends letting communities select “no firework zones” and a proxy purchasing offence so adults cannot give fireworks to children.

Denham said she is considering the group’s recommendations with a view to bringing in new legislation.

The minister also reminded people to be aware of social distancing rules and safety guidelines ahead of any “back garden” fireworks parties on November 5.

Public displays on Bonfire Night have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

She said: “I want to be clear that there should not be private displays in gardens with spectators exceeding the numbers set out locally.

“As local areas have been placed in levels of restriction set out in the Covid-19 strategic framework, this will mean no more than six people from two different households.

“People using fireworks should also stringently follow safety instructions on the packaging of the products they purchase to reduce the risk of harm and injury.”

Denham added: “It is also important to stress that it is illegal to use fireworks in a public place in Scotland.

“This includes areas such as parks and fields.”