Licences for fireworks and explosives

The legal requirements for storing explosives are set out in the Explosives Regulations 2014.

Read our guidance information for explosives, licensing and storage (PDF, 157.5 KB).

Before storing explosives you will generally need a licence. Certain quantities of explosive can be kept for short periods of time and/or limited quantities, without the need for a licence. but the separation distance requirements of the regulations will still need to be met. Visit the HSE website to find out when a licence is not required.

Apply or renew

You can apply for a new explosives storage licence or renew an existing licence using the same form.

Before you start, you'll need:

  • the type and quantity (in kgs) of each type of explosive you'll be storing
  • existing licence details (including expiry date and reference number if renewing)
  • the full address of anywhere that will be used to store explosives
  • an accepted method of payment (we currently accept online payment, cheques, Bacs transfer or card payment by telephone - 03000 41 41 41).

We will carry out a range of checks to ensure that you are a ‘suitable’ person to hold a licence including checking the National Anti-fraud Network , Health and Safety Executive prosecution database and local police prosecution information.

You will be sent a renewal reminder 2 to 3 weeks before your current licence or registration expires.

Apply or renew an existing licence


Read about our fees for fireworks and explosives.

Who needs a licence

You must be licensed if you sell or store:

  • cartridges for nail guns
  • cartridges for vehicle airbags
  • fireworks
  • flares and smoke signals
  • small arms cartridges.

Noise pollution

To complain about noise pollution connected to fireworks, contact your borough council.