The use and storage of explosives, including pyrotechnics, is regulated under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.

The use and storage of retail fireworks are also controlled by the Hazardous Substances (Fireworks) Regulations 2001(external link).

The  Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link) set out requirements for the following:

  • Certified handlers
  • Display and sale
  • Locations for storage and use
  • Protection from sources of ignition
  • Segregation
  • Magazines
  • Separation distance requirements
  • Detonation or deflagration requirements
  • Indoor and outdoor pyrotechnic displays
  • Transfer of class 1 substances
  • Transportation
  • Controlled Substance Licence for possessing explosives


Retail fireworks have a number of additional requirements that need to be met before they can be imported, stored and sold for retail.  Read more about retail fireworks(external link).

Compliance certificates for explosives 


A location compliance certificate is required for storing explosives.


Explosives, including outdoor pyrotechnics, are generally to be under the control of a certified handler.


A Controlled substance licence (CSL) is required to possess certain explosives.

Securing explosives

When an explosive substance is not under the control of a certified handler, it must be secured in a container (magazine) at a hazardous substance location or designated use zone.

Blast Overpressure

PCBUs operating with explosives are required to ensure that any potential adverse effects are managed and minimised. This includes making sure that people and structures are well protected and are located at a suitable distance from the explosives. The spreadsheet below will allow PCBUs to calculate the controlled zones abutting the hazardous substance location, designated use zone or designated transfer zone where explosives substances are held, manufactured, used or transferred.
Blast overpressure calculation (XLSX 58 KB)

Pyrotechnic displays (outdoors)

If you are planning an outdoor pyrotechnic display, you need to apply for an outdoor pyrotechnic display compliance certificate