Unrestricted fireworks

Outdoor fireworks during fire bans

On Friday 22 November 2019, the Minister for Fire and Emergency Services revoked the Declaration of State of Fire Emergency in Queensland. However, fire bans are still in place in many local government areas.

Where total fire bans are in place, no outdoor fireworks display should proceed without prior consultation with the local fire warden. All fireworks contractors must:

  1. Notify the Explosives Inspectorate and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
  2. Check the locations of total fire bans.
  3. Contact the local fire warden (if necessary).

In Queensland, the use of display fireworks by the public has been illegal since 1972. Only licensed professionals in the fireworks industry may now use display fireworks.

However, explosives legislation exempts certain small fireworks and other explosives from most of the restrictions on the sale, possession, handling and use of explosives. These are called unrestricted fireworks.

The Explosives Regulation 2017 defines unrestricted fireworks as:

  • amorces and caps for toy pistols
  • indoor table bombs that eject streamers
  • model rocket motors up to 62.5g maximum weight and maximum total impulse of 160 newton seconds
  • snaps for bon-bon crackers
  • sparklers
  • starting pistol caps
  • streamer cones (or party poppers)
  • indoor decorative fountains.

The table below outlines your licensing and other requirements for using, possessing, selling, storing, transporting, and importing and exporting unrestricted fireworks. You may sell unrestricted fireworks through retail outlets for the general public to use.

Activity Licence requiredNotes
Use No General duty of care provisions apply.
Possession No General duty of care provisions apply.
Sale No You may sell unrestricted fireworks through retail outlets for the general public to use.
The fireworks must have adequate warnings on labels (in English) advising of instructions for safe use and of hazards.
You must ensure the safety performance of explosive products you sell.
Storage No You must store the unrestricted fireworks safely and securely. Except when needed for immediate sale, you must keep the fireworks in the original outer package effectively closed.
All packages or receptacles must be protected from shop traffic and kept away from flammable or combustible articles.
You must place a sign in the storage area prohibiting smoking or other ignition sources near packages or receptacles.
Transport No You must take precautions to prevent accidents by fire, explosion or otherwise, including:
  • not allowing smoking near the fireworks
  • not transporting fireworks with flammable materials
  • providing a fire extinguisher on the transporting vehicle
  • keeping unrestricted fireworks in their original outer package
  • carrying the fireworks in a spark-proof receptacle or enclosed van.
Import and export (to and from overseas) Yes You must give the Chief Inspector of Explosives 7 days' notice if you intend to import or export unrestricted fireworks. Include the name of the unrestricted fireworks, the quantity you're importing or exporting, the date and the place of arrival or departure.
Upon arrival or before departure, an explosives inspector may examine and sample the goods before release and distribution. They may withhold sale pending this release.
If the unrestricted fireworks don't fit the authorised definition or have hazardous qualities, the inspector may confiscate and destroy them, or return them to the importer, exporter or manufacturer for fixing or disposal.
If you're importing unrestricted fireworks, you must ensure their safety performance.