Important points to remember:
- There are different types of fireworks (rockets, roman candles, wheels etc). Each type will need to be set up and ignited in a particular way. Jubilee Fireworks has produced a safety leaflet which can be downloaded here.
- If you are staging a larger public or private display, you will need to plan in advance and give some consideration to the display site.
A recommended general layout is as follows…
- Plan the display layout in daylight and position the fireworks securely in advance.
- Obtain the necessary stakes, tubes and other equipment (cable ties etc).
- Have an electric torch (or head torch) for use in the dark.
- Keep the number of operators to a minimum and ensure that they have clearly defined duties. Too many assistants can cause confusion.
- Operators should wear the appropriate clothing (PPE); hard-hat, safety goggles, gloves, non-flammable clothing (nylon is unsuitable). Never carry portfires in pockets.
Setting up the Site
Under the European Standard, fireworks fall into different ‘Categories’. F2 Fireworks have a range of safety distances; 8m, 15m or 20 metres. F3 Fireworks have a minimum safety distance of 25 metres. Please ensure that you are aware of the safety distance that applies to each firework.
The safety distances are a minimum requirement. It is always better to make full use of the space available and increase this distance if possible, particularly in windy conditions.
- The site should be laid out according to the above diagram. We recommend a minimum distance of 25 metres to the audience for all firework types.
- A ‘fallout’ area must be included for the safe fallout of spent items (particularly rockets) and general debris.
- Arrange the display site so that the prevailing wind blows away from the audience.
- Safety distances may need to be increased considerably in the wind is unfavourable.
- Always put safety first. Do not fire in very high winds. Stop firing if the audience encroaches on to the site or injuries occur.
- After the Display – ensure that the site is searched for any fireworks that have not gone off. Handle these carefully, dowsing them with water before immersing. All spent fireworks and debris should be cleared and, if necessary, the site should be examined again the next morning and thoroughly cleared.
The CBI has produced a very useful booklet entitled Giving Your Own Fireworks Display, which provides helpful guidance and information. A copy can be downloaded here.