Shropshire Council

Explosives and firework storage

Licence requirement legislation

Any business planning to store explosives such as fireworks, gunpowder, safety cartridges, or detonators (including air bag detonators), is required by law to have a current explosives licence. If you plan to sell fireworks all year round, you require an additional licence under the Fireworks Regulations 2014

Hazard types

The amount of explosives that can be stored in a building is calculated by the distance the building is from other buildings or roads, and by the hazard type of the explosive. These hazard types conform to the United Nations designation or division number for explosives: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4. Most consumer fireworks will be hazard type 4 (1.4), although some larger fireworks may be hazard type 3 (1.3). The UN designation of the explosives should be marked on the transport container.

Hazard types are defined as follows:

  • hazard type 1 - an explosive which as a result of, or as the result of any effect of, the conditions of storage or process of manufacture, has a mass explosion hazard
  • hazard type 2 - an explosive which as a result of, or as the result of any effect of, the conditions of storage or process of manufacture, has a serious projectile hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
  • hazard type 3 - an explosive which as a result of, or as the result of any effect of, the conditions of storage or process of manufacture, has a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or minor projectile hazard, or both, but does not have a mass explosion hazard
  • hazard type 4 - an explosive which as a result of, or as the result of any effect of, the conditions of storage or process of manufacture, has a fire or slight explosion hazard or both only with local effect

Storage of explosives - weight limitations

The method by which you store explosives will depend on the quantity you keep in stock. However, you must not assume that your premises would be suitable to store the maximum amount of explosives. Please contact us for more information.

Risk assessment

The Fireworks Regulations 2014 places emphasis on the need to carry out a risk assessment posed by the storing of explosives on your premises. You must record your findings if you have five or more employees, although it may be advisable to keep such a record if you employ fewer than five people. Risk assessment is a simple matter of carrying out a check to ensure that you have adequate control measures in place to prevent a fire, and to minimise the spread of fire should an outbreak occur. The following are examples of some common sense measures you should be taking:

  • exclude sources of ignition and prohibit smoking near explosives
  • store explosives away from other flammable or combustible materials
  • restrict access to explosives
  • keep explosives in their transport containers
  • keep exits and escape routes clear
  • use suitable storage and display cabinets
  • restrict entry into the store

Fireworks in the sales area

Under the Fireworks Regulations 2014, the amount of fireworks allowed to be stored on the shop floor is determined by the sales area. The sales area is the area of the premises where members of the general public have access. Fireworks must be stored in an appropriate display case or storage container with a maximum content of 12.5 kg NEQ per container. Please contact us for more information.

Additional advisory publications relating to explosives and fireworks can be found on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Website.

Am I eligible to apply for a explosives and firework storage?

Any business planning to store explosives such as fireworks, gunpowder, safety cartridges, or detonators (including air bag detonators), is required by law to have a current explosives licence.

How much will it cost?

There is a fee for issuing this document, which is taken when you apply.


Apply now

Download the form, complete it on your home computer, and email it to licensing@shropshire.gov.uk

Download the form

Download the form, print it out, fill it in and post your application along with the fee if applicable to:

The Licensing Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND

Download the form