The Ultimate Guide For Using Pyrotechnics In Events

guide on usage of pyrotechnics in events
Pooja Jena

Table of Contents

Event planners like you are constantly working to create magical experiences. Pyrotechnics in events is one way to add that extra magical effect.

pyrotechnics firework show in events

This article will explain what pyrotechnics in events are and how to use them. There’s a lot you need to be careful about.

Additionally, this article will also help you explore creative ways to use pyrotechnics in your events.

In the end, we’re confident that you’ll be able to add spectacular visual effects to your events.

A. What are pyrotechnics in events?

They’re controlled fireworks, flames, and smoke used to create special visual effects.

Pyrotechnics are also known as “proximate pyrotechnics” as they can be used close to the audience.

Many ingredients can be added to pyrotechnic devices to provide color, smoke, noise, or sparks. Usually, they’re set off remotely using an electrical sign. This causes an electric match, or e-match, to produce ignition.

As they are designed for close-up effects, you can even use certain pyrotechnics indoors.

how to use pyrotechnics in events

B. How are pyrotechnics different from fireworks?

Due to the controlled nature of pyrotechnics, they can be used closer to the public. This makes pyrotechnics more suited for events than fireworks.

Fireworks, on the other hand, are much cheaper but can be unpredictable while using. It’s best to avoid these keeping safety in mind.

You can use pyrotechnics in events using the following ways:

  • Burst of flames during key moments
  • Timed explosions during opening of the events or product launches
  • Sparklers when the artist sings the chorus of the song
  • Smoke to create mystery in the event
  • Flashes during the grand finale of the event

Well-timed pyrotechnics are excellent for grabbing attention during events. You can also use them to keep the attendee engaged throughout the event.

C. What are the types of pyrotechnics in events?


Pyrotechnics come in all forms that can help elevate your event. Here are a few types of pyrotechnics for you to explore in the market:

  1. Comets are similar to fireworks that resemble shooting stars when they go off. These come in 45-55mm for proximate usage. It’s often used with another pyrotechnic called mines that create the effect of stars
  2. Flame mortars create the effect of a rolling ball of fire. They are smokeless and last up to five seconds
  3. Flash trays create a spray of sparkles. They use 6-18 inches long cylindrical tubes. Alternatively, you can also use flash pots that are much smaller and create similar effects
  4. Smoke cartridges or cookies, as the name suggests, are used to create smoke for different time duration
  5. Saxons create a revolving shower of sparks
  6. Gerbs are pyrotechnic fountains that release controlled sparks. They can also be used upside down to create a waterfall effect
  7. Airbursts are designed to launch sparks, confetti, or streamers into the air without fallout. They’re usually hung using a harness
  8. Flares are tubes containing compressed pyrotechnic material to produce bright flames
  9. Flash paper or flash cotton is made using nitrocellulose. They’re kept wet with water or alcohol during transportation. They burn with very little smoke and ash. Typically, they’re used as hand flashes
  10. Shock tubings are thermoplastic tubes that create the effect of lightning
  11. Strobe pots create multiple flashes of lights
  12. Multi-shot devices combine multiple pyrotechnics to create special chain effects

fireworks display and light show in events

Broadly speaking, you can also categorize pyrotechnics in the following categories:

  • Aerial Fireworks: They ignite the night sky with bursts of color, light, and sound
  • Close-up Effects: Gerbs, fountains, and comets come under this category
  • Stage Effects: Examples include flash pots and smoke bombs. They create dramatic visual effects
  • Special Effects: Flames and cryogenic blasts are a few examples

D. How to use pyrotechnics in events

There’s a slightly long legal and compliance process associated with the usage of pyrotechnics. Here’s a general breakdown of the steps.

  1. Every city has its own regulations regarding the use of pyrotechnics. You’ll have to first do your basic online search 
  2. Contact your local fire department or authorities permitting events. You must also ask them all the details you need. Depending on whether or not you can comply with all the rules, decide whether you should go ahead
  3. Reach out to the venue and ask if they allow the usage of pyrotechnics. If yes, ask them specifically about the pyrotechnic you have in mind. Clarify all safety concerns related to the building structure, occupancy limits, or surroundings. Ask them if any additional permits are required
  4. Don’t attempt to handle pyrotechnics yourself! Only trained and licensed pyrotechnicians with experience and insurance should use them. Hire carefully 
  5. Usually, your vendor will also guide you with the permit application process (if any). It may include the following:
    • Display permit: It is issued by the local fire department or event permitting office. The permit authorizes the use of pyrotechnics at a specific location and date
    • Burning permit: It is needed in some areas for open-air displays. The local fire department shall issue it to you
  6. Develop a plan with the licensed pyrotechnicians and venue staff. You should be clear about the following:
    • The specific pyrotechnic effects to be used and their placement
    • Designated safety zones and audience evacuation procedures
    • Firefighting equipment and personnel on standby
    • Communication protocols between pyrotechnicians, venue staff, and emergency responders
  7. Maintain copies of all permits, safety plans, and insurance documentation for your records
  8. On the day of the event, ensure clear communication and adherence to the safety plan. Hired pyrotechnicians will handle the setup, execution, and post-show cleanup of the display

Note: The steps may vary depending on the rules and regulations of your area/venue/state. Make sure you cross-check with the authorities or connect with other event planners.

Additionally, ensure that the pyrotechnic company carries adequate liability insurance to cover any potential accidents or damage.

E. Are pyrotechnics safe to use in events?

While pyrotechnics are a spectacular development in the events and decor industry, they come with a lot of caution. While it is much safer than traditional fireworks, it still comes with a few safety hazards if not handled properly.

These risks often arise when pyrotechnics are mishandled. These are the situations that create unfavorable results of using pyrotechnics in events:

  1. Improper storage or handling: Neglecting proper storage guidelines can significantly increase the risk of accidents.
  2. Unauthorized use: Only trained and licensed professionals should handle pyrotechnics. Attempted use by untrained individuals poses a major safety threat
  3. Venue restrictions: Many venues have limitations on the use of pyrotechnics due to safety concerns. Ignoring these restrictions can be dangerous
safety hazards of pyrotechnics and fireworks in events

Here are a few risks associated with the use of pyrotechnics:

  1. Misfire/premature explosions: Pyrotechnic devices can malfunction or ignite unexpectedly. It can cause serious burns, shrapnel injuries, and hearing damage to those in proximity
  2. Fire Hazards: Unchecked flames or sparks from pyrotechnics can easily spread and ignite surrounding materials. You need to be careful about property damage or wildfires
  3. Inhalation Hazards: The burning of pyrotechnic materials releases smoke and fumes. These can irritate the lungs and respiratory system. Ensure that those with asthma or other respiratory conditions are careful
  4. Hearing Damage: The loud bangs and explosions can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. Ensure that proper ear protection is used
  5. Debris and Shrapnel: Pyrotechnic devices can eject burning debris or shrapnel upon explosion

By understanding safety hazards and adhering to safety protocols, you can mitigate such issues. Read the next section to learn how you can minimize the risks of using pyrotechnics in events.

F. Keep this in mind when you use pyrotechnics in events

Pyrotechnics are heavily regulated due to their potential dangers. Here are some additional points to consider for event planners:

  • Choose vendors carefully: Hire licensed and insured pyrotechnicians with a proven track record of safety and creativity. Their expertise will guide you in selecting the right effects and ensure proper execution
  • Venue restrictions: Many venues have limitations on the use of pyrotechnics due to safety concerns. Always check with the venue beforehand. Don’t try to force your way in with pyrotechnics as not all venues support its usage
  • Planning is key: The design and execution of a pyrotechnic display require careful planning and coordination. Discuss with all stakeholders, like, the event organizer, venue staff, and pyrotechnicians

G. What are some creative ways to use pyrotechnics in events?

usage of pyrotechnics in events

Pyrotechnics don’t just have to be loud bangs and colorful explosions. When timed right and used creatively, you can significantly elevate attendee experiences:

  1. Don’t just rely on standard firework shapes and colors. Work with pyrotechnicians to design a display that reflects your event’s theme. For example, for a space-themed event, you can incorporate shooting star effects
  2. Synchronize your pyrotechnic display with music or live performances. This can include timed displays or ones that grow in intensity. This can be done to heighten a few experiences
  3. Use interactive pyrotechnics. For example, pyrotechnics that go off when the audience raises their hands
  4. Don’t limit pyrotechnics to the end of the event. Strategically place gerbs, fountains, or cold sparklers to create pockets of surprises throughout
  5. Explore low-smoke pyrotechnic options that minimize smoke production. This ensures pleasant attendee experiences while still delivering a visual spectacle
  6. Combine pyrotechnics with lasers, projections, or confetti cannons to create a multi-sensory experience
  7. Explore biodegradable options or cold sparklers that minimize environmental impact. Modern and more sustainable pyrotechnics will be appreciated by attendees and sponsors

Remember that creativity is limitless with pyrotechnics. Make sure you look at the event holistically to create the special moments at your event.

H. FAQ

1. What are pyrotechnics?

Pyrotechnics refer to planned explosions, flashes, smoke, and flames for visual effects. These are popularly used in events to create a dramatic and exciting atmosphere.

2. Who can use pyrotechnics?

Licensed pyrotechnicians with experience are best suited to use pyrotechnics in events. You must also find licensed professionals with insurance to control pyrotechnics in your events.

I. Takeaways for event planners

Pyrotechnics, when used thoughtfully and safely, can elevate your event to new heights.

You just need the right combination of effects that are planned with expertise and executed with precision. Knowledge of what the current market and technology have to offer is important.

You can create wonderful experiences for your audience. They will remember it long after the final spark fades.

When they do, don’t forget to thank EventTube. As a token of gratitude from us, sign up for a newsletter for free event updates.

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