At Splash and Relax, we want to help to make sure that your firework event is as enjoyable and as safe as it can possibly be. Follow our safety guidelines and have a great event!
FIREWORK CATEGORIES – What do they mean?
- Cat 1 – Indoor Fireworks – these are safe to ignite indoors preferably on a non-flammable tray or plate.
- Cat 2 – These fireworks require a minimum safety distance of either 5 metres or 8 metres between spectators and the display area.
- Cat 3 – A minimum safety distance of 25 metres is required between spectators and the display area.
Before choosing fireworks
- Decide where you are going to hold the display
- Measure out the entire area. If the distance is less than 25 metres between the display area and spectators you should only choose Category 2 fireworks that have either 5m or 8m safety distance requirements
- If the distance is over 25m between display area and spectators you can choose any Category 2 or Category 3 fireworks
- Check the area for overhead tree branches - fan effect fireworks have big spreads. The shots ejected from fireworks can bounce off branches – don’t assume they will go straight through
- Check the entire area for potential risks – for example, are there any green houses or sheds nearby, do they have flammable materials stored inside?
- Always use a reputable Firework Company to buy fireworks. It is illegal to buy fireworks from any unlicensed trader, and offers from “the back of a van” or “a man in a pub” should be avoided for both you and your spectators’ safety
- Ensure all fireworks purchased have the BS7114 part 2 or CE mark on them
- Do not be afraid to ask questions! All retailers should know all about the safety distances and requirements for a safe and happy event.
Things you will need on the night
It’s easy to get a few household things together, these are:
- A closed metal box to store the fireworks – take them out one at a time
- A bucket of water – to cool sparklers and put out any small fires
- Eye protection and gloves for those lighting the fireworks
Setting up your Display
Safety is the most important aspect of your display
Ensuring that your fireworks remain upright is imperative
There are a number of methods for this but for cakes, barrages, mines and single ignitions we recommend putting a stake in the ground and securely attaching the firework with gaffer tape or cable ties
- Position the stake between the firework and your spectators
- Tie securely but not overtight, the tubes need some room for expansion as the shots are ejected
- Make sure you know where the fuse is located
- If damp / wet, place the fireworks on a waterproof surface e.g. carrier bag
- If raining, keep you fireworks covered until you are ready to light them
- For Catherine Wheels, fix securely to a post and ensure firework is free to rotate before lighting
- For Rockets, use the tube supplied by your retailer and angle slightly off vertical
- Only designated persons should be responsible for letting off fireworks
- Light fireworks at arm’s length, using a portfire or similar
- Never go back to a firework that has been lit – even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode
- Put any fireworks that have failed to ignite in a bucket of water and leave overnight before disposing
Other tips on the night
Finally, follow these other rules for a safe night:
- Keep pets indoors – most animals get very scared by the lights and noise from fireworks
- Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them
- Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire
- Take care around bonfires – all clothes, even those labelled ‘low flammability’ - can catch fire
Types Of Fireworks:
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Everyone who loves fireworks loves rockets! A classic firework type, rockets need little introduction and are always popular with both enthusiasts and audiences alike. Reaching a greater height than other aerial consumer fireworks, rockets comprise of a motor which carries the payload high into the sky and a bursting charge which ejects the effect from the head of the rocket. Launched from a tube or a rack, rockets reach a height of up to 100m and at the larger end of the scale can provide the biggest single bursts of any consumer firework, with vast sky filling performance from larger models.
Smaller multipack rockets now utilise black powder bursts and are thus quieter than rockets of old, but still provide some novel and colourful effects as well as whistles and crackles, so should not be overlooked for a garden display. For a larger display, however, we offer pyromeshed rockets which are supplied in specially developed mesh cage packaging which renders them 1.4G and allows courier delivery and safe storage of the most powerful legal effects and high powder weights possible. All of the latter type demand a 25m safety distance and should be treated with respect as they are powerful fireworks. If you have the space, don’t miss out on our pyromeshed large rockets!
Without doubt the most popular type of fireworks for consumer use are multishot barrages. Also known as cakes or batteries, barrages consist of a number of individual tubes fastened together and internally fused so that all fire from a single point of ignition. Each tube ejects an effect high into the air, which is known as a shot. Barrages are relatively easy to set up and this, combined with the potential duration and ease of ignition, means they form the backbone of most displays, providing continuity and of course spectacular effects. The majority of barrages are Category 3, meaning they have a safety distance of 25m, however, increasing number of Category 2 barrages are becoming available, with an easily accommodated 5m safety distance.
Thanks to modern firework technology, the range of barrage styles and effects available is now vast.
Barrages offer just about every type of aerial pyrotechnic effect available, from comets, crackles and coloured pearls on smaller pieces through to large peony, willow and brocade starbursts once you move up in bore size - not to mention hummers, spinners and flying fish, at the more exotic end of the spectrum!
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A traditional firework type, fountains are a ground based effect which emit showers of sparks from the top of the unit, forming a vertical plume of glittering stars which often cascade down to the ground, forming a beautiful and more serene display. Fountains are always a popular firework for families with children and elderly spectators, as they tend to be quieter and than other firework types, with no bangs - although some do crackle or whistle.
Conic fountains are the most powerful type, and increase in ferocity as they burn, due to the increasing diameter of the tube as they run - many will reach almost 10m in height and produce an audible and mesmerising roar. Typical cones burn for between 20 and 40 seconds and tend to produce the same effect throughout their burn time.
Roman Candles One of the most traditional firework types, roman candles are aerial fireworks which fire multiple shots into the sky from a single, elongated tube. Due to the longer tube, shots from roman candles often reach a greater height than those from cakes, and are frequently offer the same effect repeated in each tube. They can also be rigged at a (sensible and safe) angle or in multiples, which, along with the height and effects, means roman candles can give your firework display a different creative dimension to a typical barrage. Don’t overlook roman candles!
Effects range from beautiful, slow rising and serene low noise comets with glitter tails, right through to hummers and majestic brocade willow bursts. Roman candles are available as pre-fusd bundles (roman candle barrages) which fire shots simultaneously from multiple fused tubes, as well as larger bore single tube candles that propel huge effects to high altitudes, one shot at a time.
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Sparklers need no introduction, having been a mainstay of firework celebrations for generations. They do however deserve a few words on safety! Whilst beloved by children, they burn extremely hot an it is an unfortunate statistic that more injuries are caused by sparklers than any other firework type. Please always be careful to ensure that children are supervised when using sparklers, and wear gloves at all times. Have a bucket of water on hand into which the spent sparklers can be dropped, as these remain very hot. Finally, never give sparklers to children under 5 years old - they just don’t understand the dangers. Enjoy sparklers, but be careful!
From the traditional pin wheel or catherine wheel, through to large multi-driver display wheels, we have the lot! Requiring a little more set up time than other fireworks as they need to be nailed to a post, wheels are nonetheless worth the extra effort as they always bring a smile to the faces of any audience.
Small wheels are ideal for a family garden display and are loved by children who marvel at the rapid spinning circle of fire. Larger wheels offer multiple colours and whistles, and should be mounted as high as possible in a display for best effect. To ensure wheels spin freely, add a touch of vaseline or WD40 to the nail, and try a very slight (2-3 degree) downward angle on the nail.
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Mines are very dramatic firework which eject an aerial payload in a single hit, providing a high impact hit in any display. Ideal for a moment of drama or to grab the attention of an audience, mines are big, bold and spectacular.
At the smaller end of the scale, fountain mines commence with a ground based fountain which can lull spectators into a false sense of security before ejecting a vivid eruption of aerial stars, crackles or other effects. Up to 100mm in diameter, once the fuse has functioned they erupt instantly to a great height, with a column of effects crowned by multiple bursts of aerial bombettes or reports.
Traditional selection boxes are designed to offer a wide range of fireworks and effects, with a large number of fireworks and lots of variety. Ideally suited to garden parties and more informal celebrations where fun and variety is more important than power, selection boxes offer a little bit of everything and will keep a party swinging for a good length of time.
They also offer the chance for all the adults to have a go at lighting something and as such are great for family gatherings. For a classic Guy Fawkes bash, selection boxes are great fun, however for a shorter yet more spectacular show, we recommend you check out our range of display packs.
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Barrage packs are all-aerial selections of fireworks, giving a noisier and more spectacular display than the traditional selection box. With no fountains or ground effects our range of barrage packs are perfect for an adults only audience, or as an addition to a larger display.
If you love barrages but are unsure which ones to choose, barrage packs take away the guesswork and provide you with a great value and balanced mix of quality aerial effects.
For a spectacular show, we recommend you check out our range of display packs. A stunning and great value solution to providing a complete display, ideal for pubs, clubs, and large family displays.