The Fire Brigades Union has welcomed the call from MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee for groups and individuals to submit their views on the proposed Scottish Government Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill.
The published bill includes plans for :
- Limiting the dates to when fireworks can be sold in shops to a total of 37 days a year based around holidays and cultural events.
- Ensuring anyone using the types of fireworks to be regulated would need special training, and a fireworks license.
- The provision of control zones to be established by councils, where most types of fireworks could not be used.
- The police would have new powers to search for and seize fireworks.
FBU Scottish Secretary Ian Sim said:
“We welcome this call for evidence by the Criminal Justice committee. Every year the irresponsible use of fireworks causes fires, injuries and spreads fear in the community; it is our members who are put into dangerous situations trying to deal with the consequences.
“This is a real opportunity to protect the public, their properties and the people who keep us safe. We urge all those who have been impacted by fireworks to submit their views to the consultation.”
The Bill would seek to restrict the supply and use of certain kinds of fireworks and pyrotechnic articles. An example of a pyrotechnic article would be a distress flare.
The Bill impacts businesses and individuals. It creates a new licensing system which means that:
- members of the public will need a licence to buy, possess or use certain fireworks,
- businesses supplying fireworks will need to confirm that the people getting the fireworks either have a licence or don’t need one.
It will be a criminal offence to buy, possess or use fireworks without licence, or to supply fireworks to a person without a licence. It will also be an offence to give fireworks or pyrotechnic articles to a child, or buy them on behalf of a child.
The Bill specifies that certain fireworks can only be supplied to, and used by, members of the public at certain times, including:
- Guy Fawkes Day
- Chinese New Year
There are exemptions for organised public firework displays and professionally organised displays.
In addition, the Bill grants local authorities the powers to set-up ‘firework control zones’. Councils will be able to restrict the use of fireworks in these zones, although professionally organised or public displays may still be allowed.
The possession of pyrotechnic articles when travelling to or at certain places and events will become an offence under the Bill. This could include certain sports events, sports grounds or music events.
The new rules created by the Bill will be enforced by trading standards or Police Scotland.
Submit your views
The Criminal Justice Committee is the lead committee examining the Scottish Government’s proposals in the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill. MSPs want to hear from you on views about the Bill by Friday 11 March 2022.
If you would like to make brief and general comments about the Bill, please join in the conversation on our engagement website.
If you would like to provide the Committee with a detailed response to each of the key provisions in the Bill please complete our written submission form.
You can also share your views on the Bill’s Financial Memorandum.