Work in the field and behind the desk, many hours of preparation, formalities and kilometers of cables – this is how, in short, you can describe the backstage of pyrotechnics. Not everyone knows that the preparation of a few-minute pyrotechnic display often means days and even weeks of tedious preparations. We decided to open the secret and reveal some interesting facts about how pyrotechnics work from the kitchen.

In our daily work we use explosives for civil use, which are not available in general sale, and only after showing the appropriate license for their acquisition. To be able to organize spectacular performances with their use, we must pass state exams in advance that will confirm our preparation for the profession of pyrotechnics. To be able to take the exam at all, you have to take part in the training, have a certificate of completed internships, have completed 21 years of age and have a minimum secondary education. Before the fireworks show, we must also take care of a number of permits from the services, municipal authorities, landowners, etc. What matters is not only the spectacular effect, but also the safety, so every fireworks display is exactly by us thoughtful and planned . From the guest’s perspective it is a beautiful show that lasts a few minutes and makes an electrifying impression. Meanwhile, for us every minute of the show, it’s at least 5 hours of work.

First, the strategy of action

The plan itself starts much sooner than the conversation with the organizers. Based on the expectations and assumptions of the clients, we prepare the script, select the background music and synchronize the charges with the music. We also check the exact location – if there is not enough space, and there is a forest around, sometimes it is impossible to shoot, but then it is enough to pack guests to the bus and organize a spectacle with fireworks on a nearby clearing. Usually, nothing is impossible for us.

Fireworks show from water

  For example, if the event takes place at the water reservoir, we can fire cargo from the barge or use special water fireworks that will flash on the water surface. In addition, lakes and ponds intensify the effect of the pyrotechnic display , because the light reflects off the water, which allows getting an even more beautiful view. When we operate in demanding conditions, we also shoot from the height, for example, from the roofs of buildings, so as to rise above the level of trees. Once, we even used … a playground. It was the only free space on the site. Of course, for the time of the event and preparations for the show, the area was closed.

Who can run the fireworks show?

At the place of the show, sometimes we appear even a few days earlier, composed of at least two pyrotechnics. The larger the scale of the show, the more people are needed to prepare it. Earlier, we apply for permits to the services and secure the area. We separate the place for the audience with tapes, put up warning signs, create a temporary warehouse for pyrotechnics and leave space for shots. Interestingly, not everyone knows that only the pyrotechnics can be kept on a separate and marked area, and even fire brigades and other services need our permission to be in an area designated for work with explosives, regardless of the situation. In large facilities and mass events in this area, we cooperate closely with the protection that ensures that no outsiders can get to the place where the explosives are.

Kilometers of cables, mortars, fuses or pyrotechnic equipment

  Professional loads also do not fire manually, as it is done in the case of fireworks for independent use. Each pyrotechnic charge is fired using an electric igniter, which (depending on the system) is connected to a strip from the pyrotechnic system, which is connected by a cable to the computer. Fireworks displays, of course, are fired remotely. If, therefore, there is 1000 shots per event, more or less the same number of cables leads to the pyrotechnics. We often also take care of the acoustic issues of sound system and, of course, we prepare music tracks to which we arrange the screenplay scenario and create a script of firing charges with an accuracy of 0.1 sec. Our equipment is also non-standard. In the place of firing, you can find, for example, pyrotechnical mortars for cylindrical bombs of various caliber or spherical bombs, which should be dug into the ground at least halfway, because they are often destroyed during the shot. We also carry hundreds of kilos of various types of scrap metal in the form of specialized stands, protections, tripods etc. After the event, our tasks also include cleaning up the space. We do not deal with blasting debtors, though sometimes “customers” ask us about it 🙂