Flares, model rocket motors, fireworks

Disposal of flares

Devon and Cornwall Police no longer accept marine distress pyrotechnics (whether they are in date or time-expired) at police stations.

You must instead make an appointment with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for safe disposal:

  • Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) station at Falmouth. 
    Telephone: 01326 317575
  • Maritime Coastguard Agency station at Brixham.
     Telephone: 01803 882704
  • RNLI Headquarters at Poole. 
    Telephone: 01202 336336

Under no circumstances should time-expired flares be set off or dumped outside any MCA premises.

If you find a marine distress flare on a beach or below the high water mark, you need to contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on 999 or hand it into the nearest local Coastguard station.

Model rocket motors

You do not need a certificate for rocket motors less than 1kg net mass explosive (NME) listed in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 2 part 2.

A certificate is required for rocket motors of 1kg NME and over. 
Apply now

A store license is required for those over 5kg NME and fees may be incurred.

Apply now ER2


The bulk of firework issues are dealt with by Trading Standards in Devon and Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service in Cornwall.

Certain offences may involve the Health & Safety Executive.

The police have a limited role in this area but are responsible for the enforcement of the Fireworks Regulations 2004, specifically:

  • Regulation 4 (bans the possession fireworks by under 18s in a public place)
  • Regulation 5 (allows only a fireworks professional to hold Category 4 fireworks)
  • Regulation 7 (prohibits certain fireworks during night hours)

Police are also responsible for governing fireworks that require a certificate under the Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER2014).


Explosives Licensing team
Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit
Devon & Cornwall Police
Middlemoor, Exeter
Tel: 01392 226221

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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