Fireworks sales began yesterday in the lead-up to Guy Fawkes - with several pop-up outlets setting up shop and animal advocates and fire authorities warning people to take extra care in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Fireworks can only be sold between November 2 and November 5. People must be 18 years old and have valid ID to buy fireworks, just like alcohol.

Tauranga's Fire Risk Management Officer Bill Rackham said the sale of fireworks made firefighters nervous as not everyone was responsible with them.

Mr Rackham said it was critical that people under the age of 18 did not play with or light fireworks without proper supervision.


"It comes to parents adequately supervising the young ones. That can be hard to enforce or to press on parents but it's important," Mr Rackham said.

"What we typically find is kids going off to play with fireworks, doing things they probably shouldn't be doing.

"Fireworks are made for a certain purpose and can be used safely. But the moment they fall into the wrong hands or people doing the wrong things with them, they can become quite a significant danger "

SPCA New Zealand CEO Ric Odom said the short sale period for private use fireworks did not stop people lighting fireworks for months after Guy Fawkes.

"People with pets have to be alert to the danger far beyond the 5th of November. There is only one solution in the SPCA's eyes and that is to ban firework sales to individuals and allow people to enjoy controlled public displays only."

Since the restricted sales period was introduced in 2007, fireworks-related callouts for firefighters dropped nationally from 653 fires in 2006 to 268 last year.

Online Fireworks operations manager Wayde Parnell ran 23 pop-up stores across Bay of Plenty and Waikato - up from just one on Hewletts Rd in 2012.

The stores opened for business yesterday and while sales were steady, they usually increased on November 4 and 5 as people did not want to miss out, Mr Parnell said.