Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has made the decision to cease the sale of fireworks in all of their stores nationwide, it has emerged today.

The private use of fireworks is a controversial issue and is always heavily discussed as Bonfire Night approaches.

The law

Current legislation allows adults to purchase and let off Category 2 and 3 fireworks on private land. Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals.

Fireworks can be let off between 7am and 11pm, with extended times for Bonfire Night (midnight) and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year (1am).

In 2018, the House of Commons debated a change in fireworks laws when over 300,000 people signed a petition to ban public use.

The government response in November 2018 was: “Government takes the issue of safety of fireworks very seriously. Legislation is in place to control their sale, use and misuse. We have no plans to change legislation.”

Sainsbury’s ban

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told B31 Voices: “Fireworks are no longer available in our stores but customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light up spinning wands.”

Sainsbury’s have yet to disclose what led to their decision to remove fireworks from their stores, but animal welfare charities have welcomed the move.

The National Autistic Association said: “Bonfire night is a family occasion that brings joy to people across the UK – but for the 1 in 100 autistic people, fireworks can be anything but fun.

“Many parents of children on the autism spectrum tell us they choose not to celebrate bonfire night because their children find it too distressing. The unexpected nature of displays can cause anxiety and stress, and for those with sensory issues, fireworks can be very disturbing.”

A spokeswoman for animal charity RSPCA said: “The RSPCA is campaigning for a restriction in the sale and use of fireworks to specific dates so we welcome this move by Sainsburys. Each year we receive hundreds of calls from worried owners about their petrified animals.”

Read RSPCA’s advice about how to help pets who struggle with fireworks here 

Current legislation on fireworks

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