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Fireworks Categorisation - F1 vs F2 vs F3 vs F4

Comparison Table

CategoryF1 FireworksF2 FireworksF3 FireworksF4 Fireworks
Example UseIndoorsGarden DisplaysLarge DisplaysProfessional Displays
Hazard LevelVery LowLowMediumHigh
Noise LevelVery LowLowMediumHigh
For ConsumersYesYesYesNo
Advised Standing Distance1m*15m25mN/A
Max Debris Distance1m*8m15mN/A
Fuse DelayN/A3-8 seconds5-13 secondsN/A

*Table doesn't reflect CE Cat 1 Fireworks such as those in selection boxes that would require a standing distance of 8m

There are 4 key firework categories enforceable by law within the UK - F1, F2, F3 and F4. These have been designed to:

  1. Ensure safety for the general public
  2. Prohibit the use of fireworks by people who aren’t trained to use them

This essential legislation means that there are some fireworks which are only suitable for professional displays. To help you understand the differences between the various categories, we’ve put together this handy FAQ guide.

Which Firework Classifications Are Suitable For Consumers?

Consumers can purchase category 1, category 2 and category 3 fireworks. Whilst you can buy fireworks that have been deemed suitable for these categories, it’s still important to remember that you must take all the necessary precautions to maximise safety.

Category 3 fireworks, for example, have been designed to be fired in large open spaces. You must ensure the space within which you want to set off your fireworks is suitable.

 

How Do I Confirm A Firework's Classification

 

At Galactic Fireworks every firework on our website displays clearly on it’s page the classification of the product

 

Every fireworks for sale in the UK must carry a CE mark to show that they are safe. The mark also confirms that these fireworks comply with European safety standards.

 

Are There Age Restrictions On Each Category?

Regardless of the category of fireworks you wish to purchase, you can only do so if you are 18 years of age or older. This extends to the purchase of sparklers, which are also classified as fireworks in their own right.

What Are Category F1 Fireworks?

Fireworks receive an F1 classification if they are intended for use inside domestic buildings or confined areas. F1 fireworks are deemed to present a very low hazard to those using them.

Fireworks within this category must see you light and retire to at least 1 metre. They must also not drop debris beyond 1 metre.

There are oocasional instances where selection box fireworks may fall within CE Cat 1. In cases such as this, fireworks naturally need to be fired outside with a standing distance of 8m.

What Are Category F2 Fireworks?

 

Fireworks receive an F2 classification if they are intended for use in smaller gardens. F2 fireworks are deemed to present low hazard to those using them.

 

Fireworks within this category must see you light and retire to at least 8 metres. Spectators must be at least 8 metres away, although 15m is advisable. They must also not drop debris beyond 8 metres.

 

What Are Category F3 Fireworks?

 

Fireworks that receive an F3 classification have been designed to be fired in large open spaces. You must ensure the space within which you want to set off your fireworks is suitable.

 

For fireworks within this category, it would be advisable to light and retire to at least 25 metres. Spectators must be at least 15 metres away and debris must not be dropped beyond 15 metres.

 

What Are Category F4 Fireworks?

 

Category F4 fireworks can only be used by professionals, as they are extremely dangerous without the right training. Sometimes referred to as industrial fireworks, they are banned for sale to the public.

 

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