All Fireworks on sale to the general public have to be extensively tested and classified as either Category F2 or F3.
These classifications also impose a noise limit, outline how much space should be given when using them and ensure the firework has a safety fuse aswell as clear and precise safety instructions printed on each individual firework label.
The Categories break down as follows –
Category F1 Fireworks
This category refers to fireworks which pose a minimal hazard, and this classification is usually given to indoor fireworks, sparklers and party poppers
Category F2 Fireworks
This category refers to fireworks sometimes known as garden fireworks, these require the smallest safety distance, which is eight meters up to fifteen meters
Category F3 Fireworks
these fireworks are often referred to as display fireworks and these require a much bigger safety distance of at least 25 meters
Not all fireworks in these categories will be suitable for every garden. It is vital to check the distances required on each firework that you intend to purchase by means of the instruction label or retailers information as it may not be possible to meet the required safety distance in a domestic garden.
Category F4 Fireworks
These fireworks (sometimes referred to as industrial fireworks, usually by the press or media) are for professional use only at organised displays. These can include aerial shells and other items which are banned for sale to the general public. Many F4 fireworks are supplied without a safety delay fuse and are extremely dangerous to the untrained person. If you are not a professional person that has received the appropriate training and you are offered Category F4 fireworks, then these are being sold to you illegally !!
Northern Ireland Fireworks category rules
In Northern Ireland, you cannot purchase category F2, F3 or F4 fireworks unless you hold a fireworks licence. The licence application form is only available from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the appropriate fee must be paid before the licence is issued.