Practical Guide to Safety

The Fireworks

Set pieces & Devices - (these are Ground Level fireworks) such as wheels, pictures and fountains last between 30 – 50 seconds as single effects. These tend to be around 5 -10ft tall and so benefit from being mounted on poles to give extra height – particularly important on flat and downward sloping sites.  

Fireworks Types

Elephant Set Piece

Revolving Wheel

Roman Candles - last between 25 – 40 seconds. Their effects (comets, mines and mini shells) can project up to 150ft.

Cakes’ or ‘Barrages - are a multi-shot effect, usually firing rapidly, producing a variety of effects (comets, mines, mini shells, whistles & hummers) straight up, in a zigzag or W formation. The effects project to heights between 60 – 120ft.


Choosing the fireworks to suit your site, budget and desired duration:


As the organiser(s) of the event and display you will be deciding on the budget and content of the display.


Whether you are putting on a show for small children, a family audience or an adult audience the general rule is do not drag it out. It is unlikely that you would spend a large budget on a children’s show or small audience show and equally you are likely to spend more on a family/adult or larger audience event.

A general guide is around £12-15 per minute for the small audience shows (up to 50 people perhaps) and £20-30 per minute for around 100 people. Over 150 people and beyond the cost per minute should rise proportionately up to around £100-120 per minute for a 15-20 minute show.

There is now the matter of choosing fireworks to suit the site. If you have a site that slopes down and away from the audience then do not use ground level fireworks. Other than the front row or two of the audience, the remainder are unlikely to see the whole effect if anything at all. Apart from this scenario, all firework types are suitable for all other sites (notwithstanding the assessment of the site for potentially sensitive sites such as Hospitals and Nursing Homes, etc).

Rockets - are known to everyone and come in a range of sizes and effects. BEWARE! - Rising up to 150ft their characteristic stick then falls back to earth and is a particular hazard. For these a larger fallout area is required.

Mines - are an explosion of stars from the ground rising to around 50ft. They sometimes have secondary effects when the stars reach their optimum height such as small bursts of noise or coloured stars.