Electrify Pyrotechnics’ Top 10 Bonfire Night Tips
It only seems five minutes ago since it was summer and we were all having barbecues and drinking Prosecco in the garden. Suddenly it’s Autumn, the nights are closing in and Bonfire Night is almost upon us. So with only 2 weeks until the first organised displays kick off we thought as a Professional Firework Display Company we would share our insider Top 10 Bonfire Night Tips for improving your firework season…
10. Consider not buying fireworks from a Supermarket – if you are going to have your own display then look to buy fireworks from a reputable specialist firework retailer. Supermarket fireworks tend in the main to look very attractive, but it’s what’s inside that counts. In a lot of cases they have less gunpowder content. They may feel heavy, but it’s often mainly cardboard and wood. It’s not always the case, however in the main if you can buy your fireworks from a specialist fireworks store that sells them all year round you’re more likely to get more bang for your buck – literally!
9. Don’t buy fireworks from anyone other than a reputable retailer – building upon the advice in number 10, each year hundreds of Pounds of professional fireworks are stolen to order from firework stores across the country and sold illegally. Fireworks are specifically categorised, and many of those stolen are not for sale to the public. Whilst buying these types of fireworks may seem exciting and intriguing, professional Category 4 fireworks have longer safety distances and very, very fast fuses meaning lighting them is likely to lead to an instant ignition or the firework firing violently in a random direction. In addition all fireworks sold to the public in the UK carry a CE mark – check for it and avoid it if it doesn’t carry one. If you’re offered fireworks down the pub, or through a friend of a friend, think of your guests first and avoid.
8. Observe the safety distances – Category 2 fireworks (typically the smaller ones) have an 8 metre safety distance, whilst the larger category 3 fireworks have a 25 metre safety distance. If your back garden isn’t large enough for a category 3 firework then don’t buy them. Category 2 fireworks are now equally as impressive and so there’s no need to put your guests at risk.
7. Rockets track into the wind – If you’re buying rockets then be mindful that on a windy night they will head into the wind and not move in the direction of the wind. This is because the wind blows the rockets’ stick which then points its’ head into the wind. One to consider for safety reasons but also so it doesn’t disappear behind your house meaning that your guests miss the burst.
6. Secure your fireworks so they don’t fall over. Multi-shot barrage cakes (often referred to as cakes because they are often shaped like square Christmas cakes – often shaped like boxes or cubes like those shown below) fire anything between 10 and 100 shots, which means once it’s lit it won’t stop. These are great value, because you get a longer firework display and each shot is pretty much like one rocket. However, if they aren’t secured they can bounce around and fall over, which could lead to them firing in the direction of your audience. Many instructions tell you to bury them up to a pre-prescribed line. This is fine, however most professional firework companies will hammer a small wooden stake into the ground and gaffer tape the cake to the stake. The cake’s not going anywhere then! Although make sure you don’t tape over the fuse!
5. Don’t let the fuse get wet, in fact don’t let your firework get wet. If your firework or green visco fuse get wet (in the rain or because the ground is damp) then it’s unlikely to light or fire all the way through. One way to avoid this happening is to put the firework in a swing bin liner before securing it into place. Give the bag a shake before you light it to shake away the water then just tear the bag to expose the fuse and light it. The firework will fire through the bag just fine and it’ll stay dry – although unfortunately if it’s raining you and your guests won’t!!!
4. If it doesn’t go off, then do not return to it – sounds obvious, however as a professional firework firing team we’ve seen many fireworks go off seconds, minutes and on occasions hours after they’ve been lit. Just leave it, don’t go anywhere near it, don’t bring it back into the house. Retrieve it the next day, and return it another day to the store that you bought it from. They will dispose of it securely.
3. Think of your pets – most pets, especially cats and dogs hate fireworks. Never take your dog to a firework display unless you know they are OK around them. It’s best to keep your pets indoors once it gets dark over the couple of weeks that fireworks are being let off. Keeping curtains closed and the TV or Radio on fairly loud often means they don’t hear the fireworks. If that doesn’t work, and your pet is particularly traumatised then speak to your vet. There are treatments and clothing that your pets can wear to help them cope, however always seek a professionals advice.
2. Find a local organised professional display – these are always more inspiring than consumer firework displays – the firers will likely be firing bigger professional category fireworks and so it’ll be more impressive, and safer. Plus less effort and cost!
1. Our top tip – learn to fire fireworks professionally – if you do enjoy lighting fireworks and putting on an impressive display then why not train with a firework company? As well as the tips above there are a raft of ‘insider secrets’ that mean you can fire fireworks more safely, with less gaps, and with less mess afterwards! Even fire them electrically so you can stand with your guests and fire the whole display with a push of a button, even to music! Interested? Give us a call at Electrify Pyrotechnics on 01332 650770 – it doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in – we can train you to be a better firer! And who doesn’t want a discount on better fireworks!?!
Hopefully you found our Top 10 Bonfire Night Tips useful. Whatever you do this Bonfire night, whether it’s going to professional display or a display in your back garden, wrap up warm, follow the firework code, stay safe, think of your pets and have fun!
Electrify Pyrotechnics fire multiple Bonfire Night displays all across the UK. Let us take the strain of firing a Bonfire Night display – it’s not easy, even for us sometimes…