HOPING to keep up with the Jones’s firework display this Bonfire Night? Be careful not to invalidate your insurance by doing so.
Drivers transporting too many explosives could be slapped with a £300 fine and six penalty points.
For anyone without a firework storage licence, the legal limit to transport explosive material is 50kg.
But with Bonfire Night on November 5, Brits need to check exactly how much their policy allows them to pack, as it may be lower.
The weight applies to the amount of explosive – and not the total weight of the box and rocket.
This normally equates to around 10 to 25 per cent of the total firework’s weight, but this needs to be checked per product.
An average backyard firework display will unlikely tip you over the limit, but transporting fireworks for a local event could put you at risk.
Your insurer could refuse a payout should you have an accident with more than 50kg of explosive content.
Safety charity IAM RoadSmart also recommends that fireworks are placed in the boot of the car, as opposed to the back seat, to reduce risk of a spark igniting them.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t smoke in the car with fireworks.
The Government also advises not to store fireworks near parked vehicles – so remove them from your boot once transported and put them in a safe dry place as soon as you get the opportunity to do so.
It should be noted, though, that the 50kg limit is significantly high – for example a Black Cat’s Platinum Selection Box with 32 small fireworks has 2kg of explosive content.
High performance rockets and specialist fireworks will contain a higher amount – with local firework displays likely to go over 50kg.
Amanda Stretton, Motoring Editor at insurance comparison site Confused.com, told Sun Motors: “Regardless of how many fireworks motorists are carrying, driving with any type of small explosive can be dangerous, so it is important motorists are taking the right precautions to make sure they are transporting them safely.”
Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart Head of Driver Behaviour, added: “Fireworks can be dangerous when not treated with respect – they need to be transported carefully, make sure you prepare your car before you collect them.
“We would recommend you remove any spare fuel container or any flammable substance, like white spirit if you carry such things.
“Put the fireworks in a spark-resistant box – packs of fireworks usually come in cardboard, but individual ones can be loose so a plastic box with a fitted lid would be ideal.
“Remember don’t get carried away in the shop as you can’t transport more than 50kg of fireworks unless you hold a special permit, check your insurance as there could be something in the small print.
“Most providers will cover the carriage of fireworks for a personal display, but always worth checking so you don’t invalidate your cover.”