You don’t need professional-grade fireworks to put on a fun and memorable fireworks show at home. You can put on an impressive display with fireworks available for sale to the general public in many states.
But how do you pull off a great home fireworks show? It’s not hard. You just need some basic supplies and a spacious backyard. Here’s what you need to know.
Plan to Spend More on Fireworks This Year
Inflation means everything’s getting more expensive, including fireworks. Firework prices can be as much as 20 to 30 percent of pre-inflation costs. You should plan to spend $150 to $400 at a minimum on fireworks this year. You’ll get more fireworks for your money if you buy fireworks assortments that contain multiple kinds of mortars, artillery shells, rockets, and other fireworks. To save money, you can add elements like fountains and spinners to extend the performance.
Take the Time to Build a Fireworks Rack
You absolutely can’t just set your fireworks down on the ground and light them unsecured, even if you have a nice, even concrete surface to set them on. Fireworks that aren’t secured can fall over and spew sparks and flames directly at your audience. Someone could be seriously injured.
You need to secure your fireworks with a fireworks rack before lighting them. You can whip up a mortar rack out of wood scraps you have lying around. If you have a large piece of plywood or some one-by-six planks, you can screw fireworks into the wood, arranging them down the long side of the wood in the order in which you want to light them off. Place the wooden rack on the firing line with the short end toward the audience.
Your Audience Should Stand Pretty Far Back
If you’re shooting off aerial fireworks, creating some distance between your audience and your firing line is essential for safety. What do you think will happen if a firework that ascends 120 feet falls over and shoots directly into a crowd 100 feet away? People are going to get hit with hot debris and could be burned quite seriously.
To protect your audience, keep them well back from the firing line. Take the height of your highest aerial firework, then increase that number by half. That should be how far back you keep your audience.
Fireworks Create Hot, Falling Debris
Hot sparks and debris will fall over a wide area when you light off aerial fireworks, so make sure there isn’t anything flammable in the fallout zone. The size of the fallout zone will depend on the size of the biggest break created by your fireworks. You should make sure the fallout zone provides 45 feet in diameter for every inch of caliber. So, if your fireworks tube is two inches thick, you’ll need a fallout zone 90 feet in diameter.
Only One Person Should Light the Fireworks
More people lighting fireworks means more potential for accidents. Only one person should be lighting fuses, at least for the fireworks display. This allows you to plan a display based on the different effects you want to combine. If others want to get in on the fun, you can invite them to light firecrackers, fountains, spinners, and other ground fireworks before or after the main show.
Keep Fireworks Away from Kids
Kids shouldn’t be allowed to play with fireworks, because they can easily hurt themselves. Even sparklers are too dangerous for children, especially young children. They burn hot enough to catch clothing or hair on fire or cause serious burns. In fact, sparklers burn at 1,800℉ to 3,000℉, so it wouldn’t take much for a child to hurt themselves with one.
Practice Good Fireworks Safety
When you’re setting off fireworks, you should be prepared to extinguish any fires that might erupt from falling sparks. Keep a bucket of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher nearby while you’re lighting fireworks.
You should never hold a burning firework in your hand, and you shouldn’t lean any part of your body above a firework while you’re lighting the fuse. Use a long, grill lighter and approach from the side. Step back to a safe distance as soon as you light the fuse. Do not throw or point fireworks at another person. Soak the spent fireworks in water before you throw them away to make sure they’re not still smoldering.
If you’re thinking of putting on a backyard fireworks show, you need to know what you’re getting into. That way, you can plan to keep everyone safe and put on a great performance.