Who can use fireworks?
By law, fireworks are classed as a type of explosive. Therefore in Victoria, they can only be used by licensed pyrotechnicians or people under their direct supervision.
Who do you need to notify before you use fireworks?
Licensed pyrotechnicians who intend to set off display fireworks, theatrical fireworks or Chinese firecrackers must give at least 7 days' notice to WorkSafe.
The local council, shire and other relevant bodies such as the fire authority must also be notified. They may require longer notice periods. You may need to provide more information about the proposed fireworks display to the council or shire if they have restrictive by-laws.
WorkSafe does not approve notifications but we assess them against the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011. We look at the display plan to check that there will be appropriate separation distances from the public and property, the right number of pyrotechnician assistants for the size of the display and no overhead wires or infrastructure over the site.
Pyrotechnicians must comply with separation distances outlined in Regulation 155 of the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011. If the distance from people or property is less than those outlined in the regulations, you must request approval in writing from WorkSafe by email when you submit your notification form. We will then email a letter of approval if we are satisfied that appropriate safety measures are in place.
Please use extra care when using theatrical fireworks in enclosed spaces such as reception centres where there are large crowds.
Fireworks displays near water
If the display is on or near port or river waters and the fireworks could be confused with distress signals, the pyrotechnician must give written notice to the body that administers the relevant area of water at least 7 days' before the display date.
Complaints about fireworks or firecrackers
Complaints about firework displays by local residents or members of the public need to be made to the relevant local council or shire.
Suspending/cancelling a pyrotechnician's licence
WorkSafe can suspend or cancel a pyrotechnician's licence in certain circumstances, including when notification requirements are not met.