New explosives licence application

Please read the guidance provided on the right (below the form on mobile devices) of the form prior to starting your application. The online form references numbered items on the guidance, which you can refer to as needed. For any queries regarding your application please contact administration@wmfs.net


Guidance to applicants 

IMPORTANT It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of, and comply with, the Explosives Regulations 2014. The licensing authority (West Midlands Fire Service, within the West Midlands conurbation) has the power to prohibit storage of explosives at the site if it believes the site is no longer suitable. It may also take enforcement action if you are not storing safely. 

If you are intending to supply fireworks outside the normal permitted periods e.g. (26-31 December), Chinese New Year and three days before, October 15th-November 10th and Diwali and three days before, you will also need to make a separate application to us for a licence to comply with the Fireworks Regulations 2004. 

General information on completing the application 

  1. Our online applicationsshould not be used for an application for a licence to store the explosives listed below: 
  • relevant explosives 
  • ammunition the acquisition of which is regulated or prohibited by virtue of the Firearms Act 1968 and its amendments 
  • smokeless powder or percussion caps 
  • explosives stored by a person who is registered as a firearms dealer under section 33 of the Firearms Act 1968 

If you want to store the explosives listed above, you should use form ER2. Please email administration@wmfs.net for further details. 

You should only use our forms if you want to store not more than 2000kg of explosives. If you want to store more than 2000kg of explosives you should apply to the Health and Safety Executive for a licence. Further information on licensing can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/licensing/how-to-apply.htm 

2. Our online forms are set up to take all the required information we believe we need, however, if there is further information you can or wish to provide to aid your application, you can submit an additional document in the ‘uploads’ area with supplementary information if needed. 

3. Please contact us if you have any questions about completing our online forms or about your application.  

4. Please note: Any previous convictions you may have may be subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and you do not have to include convictions that are ‘spent’ on this application form. Where the application relates to a corporate body or company, convictions of all directors should be listed. Where the application relates in Scotland to a partnership, convictions of all partners should be listed. Information on how Licensing Authorities will consider the relevance of previous convictions to an application for a licence can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/index.htm 

5. Separation distances – please see Regulation 27 and Schedule 5 of the Explosives Regulations 2014. You will not normally be required to maintain separation distances if you store no more than: 

  • 250kg HT4 
  • 25kg HT3 (or combination of HT3 and HT4) 
  • 0.1kg HT1 
  • 0.1kg HT2 

on one site. If you are unsure whether your store or on places where you will be manufacturing or processing explosives on site are subject to separation distances, please contact us. 

 The following documents should be submitted with the application form (our online forms have an uploads area for you to do this): 

  1.  A plan to a scale sufficient to show the location of the site in relation to its surroundings (i.e. named or numbered roads, hamlets, villages or geographical features). Where the site does not have a postal address this should normally be a minimum scale of 1:25000. 
  2.  If the store is subject to separation distances you will also need to provide an Ordnance SurveySiteplan (or similar) map showing the location of the store and distances to any neighbouring buildings. The plan should also show any areas where you intend to process or manufacture explosives where a licence for those activities is not required under regulation 6 of Explosives Regulations 2014. The scale will depend on the separation distance. For a distance of up to 200 metres, a 1:1250 would normally be required while greater distance would require a 1:2500 or even a SuperPlan. Where this plan clearly identifies the location of the site in relation to its surroundings it can be substituted for the plan referred to in 6 above.
  3. If you intend to store or display more than 12.5kg of fireworks on a shop floor, we will require you submit a floor plan of the sales area.
  4. If you intend to store, process or manufacture explosives within a building that is also used for other purposes you should include a floor plan showing the places within the building where you intend storing, processing or manufacturing the explosives.
  5. The fee must also be submitted with the application(in the case of renewal and year-round licences. For new applications, a fee will be payable but is not taken until your application has been reviewed). Information on fees can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/licensing/fees.htm, or on our explosives licence information page https://www.wmfs.net/our-services/licensing/explosives-licence/. 

Hazard type and quantity 

  1. We will need to know the hazard type and quantity of the explosives you wish to store to determine whether your store is suitable. The quantity you will be allowed to store will depend on the hazard type of the explosives. Please contact your supplier if you are uncertain about the hazard types of explosive you wish to store. 
  2. The “quantity” refers to the ‘net mass’ of the explosives. This means the weight of the explosive contained within an article i.e. less packaging, casings, etc

Period of validity 

  1. Licences for fireworks and other explosives that do not require an explosive certificate may be granted for up to 5 years, as we determine.