Licence - explosives

You need to apply for a lower tier licence if you wish to store a maximum of either:

  • 30 kgs of Hazard Type 1 or 2 explosives, or
  • 100 kgs of Hazard Type 3 explosives, or
  • 250 kgs of Hazard Type 4 explosives

The quantities allowed do depend on individual locations (e.g separation distances from other buildings, footpaths etc). Most consumer fireworks, shotgun ammunition, marine distress flares etc are Hazard Type 4 explosives. If you are in any doubt consult your supplier.

If you wish to store more than the above quantities, up to a maximum of 2000 kgs of any Hazard Type, then you need to apply for an upper tier licence. However, if any of the explosives you wish to store require a Police Certificate under the Control of Explosives Regulations, you will have to apply to Thames Valley Police for a licence.

To store quantities in excess of 2000 kgs of any Hazard Type you will have to apply to the Health and Safety Executive.

How to apply

Please use the PDF file downloadApplication for a storage licence under the explosives regulations form (PDF, 169kb) to apply for a new licence.

Please read the PDF file downloadguidance notes (PDF, 137kb) before completing the application form.

Please return the form and payment to the Trading Standards Team at Bracknell Forest Council and not the HSE.


View fees on the HSE website.

What the law says

The Explosives Acts 1875 and Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 make it an offence not to comply with the following requirements. Any person who stores fireworks must take appropriate measures:

  • to prevent fire or explosion
  • to limit the extent of fire or explosion including measures to prevent the spreading of fires and the communication of explosions from one location to another
  • to protect persons from the effects of fire or explosion

Risk assessments

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) both require risk assessments to be undertaken. Therefore a risk assessment should be undertaken but you only need to record it if there are more than five people employed at the business.

Some useful guidelines have been produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Method of storage

Methods of storage are as follows:

  • an ISO freight container
  • a dedicated store room
  • a fully enclosed substantial (small gauge) wire mesh compound (and still in transit packaging)
  • a demarcated area for an amount not exceeding 75 kg, in their sealed/resealed transport packaging (this is not appropriate for small shops)
  • a substantial cupboard, cabinet, container or display case

The containers the fireworks are stored in must be clearly labelled as storing fireworks. If the fireworks are stored inside an ISO freight container the label should be an orange diamond with a black 4 (the 4 refers to the category). Category 4 is retail fireworks.

Manufacture of fireworks

Manufacturing of fireworks includes their repair, modification, dismantling and so on. Anyone doing this requires a licence.

The Fireworks Regulations 2004

A notice must be displayed where fireworks are supplied or exposed for supply stating:

  • it is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18
  • it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place

When can you sell fireworks?

Fireworks can only be sold:

  • 15 October - 10 November
  • 26 - 31 December
  • three days prior to and including Diwali and the Chinese New Year.

A person storing in excess of 250 kg HT4 and 100 kg of HT3 will need a licence.

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