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Explosives licence

​​​​​The Explosives Act 1875 permits the storage of a limited quantity of fireworks or explosives for an unlimited period of time, or the storage of an unlimited quantity of fireworks for up to 14 days prior to their use.

It is generally taken that these provisions apply to 'private use', by the keeper or associates (for example, for a school bonfire) but not for sale. It also applies where local operators are storing fireworks prior to them firing a professional display.

Different parts of explosives and firework law are enforced by various bodies:

  • The Department of Trade and Industry
  • The Fire Brigade
  • The Health and Safety Executive (or their agents)
  • Local Authority Trading Standards Departments
  • The Police​​


The premises must be registered with the Greater Manchester Fire Service in the name of the occupier, either for 'Gunpowder' or 'Mixed Explosives', and the registration must be renewed annually.

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence contact us using the details on this page.

Find out how we use your personal information in our privacy notice.

Sale to children

It's illegal to sell fireworks to any person under the age of 18 years.


Whenever an accident occurs by explosion or fire in registered premises, causing loss of life or personal injury, the occupier of the premises must notify us or the Health and Safety Executive.

Inspection of registered premises​​

The occupier of registered premises must allow any authorised officer of the Council to inspect the place and receptacles where explosives are kept.


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU