The event sponsor or event planner has a daunting task to manage all the aspects of the various elements of their event. That is why lead-time for advanced planning is so critical in panning and organizing the fireworks display as well. In recent years, the requirements for approval from local and state regulators have changed dramatically. Event planners should recognize that advance notice for approval of the fireworks permit has increased significantly.
Item One: Budget
The event planner or sponsor should determine the amount of the budget, if possible, so that the pyrotechnic company has a concept of the scope of the show.
In the event the display is new and a budget has not been determined, the pyrotechnic company can assist the event planner in establishing the range of cost.
Item Two: Site
The site of the pyrotechnic display is one of
the most important determining factors of what type of display is
possible and the scope of the show.
The area in which the fireworks are launched
must be clear of people and automobiles. In the event that area is
limited, there are a variety of options that can be discussed with
the pyrotechnic company to design a fireworks show to fit those
It is important to choose a fireworks company
who has experience with multiple types of shows and venues.
Fireworks are fired from flatbed trucks, rooftops of buildings,
barges over water, and stages with performers present, as a backdrop
to other entertainment and from inside racetracks and stadiums.
Item Three: Type of Show
There are many different types of displays
(Genres) to choose from based upon the location of the event, the
space between the potential launching area and the audience, the
purpose and theme of the event, the specific regulations of the
jurisdiction where the event is held and the time of day the event
The most common type of fireworks show is the
traditional outdoor fireworks display, but more venues are utilizing
new designs and products used in close proximity pyrotechnics for
outdoor events, indoor and theatrical pyrotechnics and even a new
line of daytime fireworks.
Item Four: Selection of the Pyrotechnic Company
The level of service that a company provides
can many times make or break a successful event.
In order to properly plan and coordinate the
fireworks production, the professional company should assist the
sponsor to anticipate all the logistical needs of the display.
The most important consideration that the
pyrotechnic company should base its recommendations upon is safety.
There is no excuse strong enough to bend the rules or otherwise
jeopardize safety of the public or operators.
The company should provide a detailed proposal
(Treatment) that describes the production sequence, provides a
complete product listing (size, type, description of effects),
includes a list of services to be provided, the insurance coverage,
equipment list and clearly defines the responsibilities of the
sponsor as well as the company. They should also provide a
contract, which includes those elements.
The most important consideration of the
pyrotechnic company should be safety of the public and technicians.
The second most important consideration should be the quality of the
Item Five: Pre-event Meeting
Since site selection is of critical importance
in the early planning stages, a representative of the company should
be willing to personally inspect the site before a proposal is
submitted to determine the correct type and size of effects that
would be appropriate for the location.
The company should inquire into the theme and
style of the event and design the production accordingly. The
company should also determine the specific permit and safety
requirements of the venue and discuss them with the proper fire and
Item Six: Coordination of the Event
When the selection of the company has been
made, the contract has been signed and the date has arrived for the
event, a representative of the fireworks company should arrive at
the site with the necessary personnel, equipment, materials and
tools to properly conduct the show.
He should meet with the sponsor or event
planner to discuss the particulars of the set-up, operational
conduct and post show procedures. They should discuss weather
contingencies, emergency response plans and the time of the start of
the event. It is important to establish the method of communication
between the sponsor or event planner and the show operator.
He should also review the plan for security,
show communication for music and cues (if appropriate) and between
fire and life safety personnel and to make sure the operator and
those personnel are in constant contact during the show.
Once the show begins, the operator, fire
official and sponsor or event planner should be in contact with each
other in case a contingency or emergency exists.
Item Seven: Post Event Coordination
After the event is concluded, security must
still be maintained until the site is checked and released by the
operator. The site should be cleaned up and all facilities should
be left in an approved condition. The fireworks company should also
verify that all unexploded pyrotechnic materials have been removed
from the site.
The most important consideration of the sponsor and pyrotechnic company should be safety of the public and technicians. The second most important consideration should be the quality of the production. With sufficient lead time, a good logistical plan, a professional team with the proper equipment, experience, and commitment to safety and quality, the outdoor fireworks display can be a most exciting and moving experience for all those in attendance as well as a valuable addition to your festival or event. It is truly one of America's oldest traditions and will continue to increase in popularity well into the next Millennium.
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