Is letting off fireworks at home allowed?
You’re getting ready to celebrate and you might like to mark the occasion by letting off a few rockets or firecrackers in your garden… However is it legal? In fact, it all depends on the municipality/commune… and the type of fireworks. Let’s take a look at the relevant regulations…
Banned in most municipalities… with a few exceptions
The great many local traditions of fireworks & grand spectaculars in the Grand Duchy are long gone. This is mainly because fireworks and other firecrackers are increasingly considered a noise nuisance, both for neighbours and animals. Dogs, cats and even local wildlife are likely to be traumatised above a certain number of decibels… Fireworks also pose ecological and safety problems, as accidents are frequent. That is why most Luxembourg municipalities prohibit fireworks on their territory and in many cases no longer organise them themselves. However, there are exceptions to this general ban, usually with the permission of the mayor.
A small number of municipalities remain more tolerant. Some have simply not adopted any specific regulations and others allow for exceptional circumstances, for example on New Year’s Eve, often during defined time-slots.
Given the diversity of the regulations governing the use of fireworks, always contact your local authority before organising your event to find out about the local policing rules and, if necessary, the steps to be taken to obtain prior authorisation from the mayor. For the City of Luxembourg, authorisation applications can be made online.
Be aware that fines can be high (up to several hundred euros!) and complaints from neighbours are commonplace.
Which types of fireworks items are allowed for private individuals?
Despite these general bans, some fireworks are still freely available in Luxembourg due to their negligible noise level and low risk, even in confined areas (law of 27 May 2016). These are category F1 and F2 fireworks/ pyrotechnic items, as detailed on the website of the Grand Ducal Police. F1 items can be used from the age of 12 and F2 items from the age of 18.
Check the labelling to find out the product category and make sure that they mention the CE standard, guaranteeing compliance with national legislation. Also check that the seller has a licence to operate issued by the ITM (Inspectorate of Labour and Mines).
Do you dream of a more ambitious event? Then you should contact a professional fireworks display organiser who will ensure optimum safety for your event. Most professionals can also take care of obtaining all the necessary permits from the local authorities on your behalf.
A few precautions, however…
Even when sold over the counter, firecrackers and rockets are still explosives! A few precautions should be taken to avoid accidents that could spoil the party.
- Always read the instructions carefully and observe the safety distances indicated.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix: designate a sober person for the ignition!
- Let off fireworks in an open area away from obstacles and never in the direction of a person or building!
- Never light a firework by holding it in your hand: use a stable base for ignition.
- Keep a fire extinguisher (hose, bucket of water, etc.) on hand in case of a fire.
- Wait at least half an hour after ignition before approaching any fireworks.
- If a rocket fails to explode, never attempt to relight or repair it – and stay away for at least 10 minutes.
- And of course, keep a close eye on children!