CE fireworks – What you need to know
CE fireworks – What you need to know
The CE marking on fireworks came into effect as of 4th July 2010 under the Pyrotechnics Articles Safety Regulations 2010, and this meant that all new fireworks that were to be imported and created for sale in the European market after this date must be marked with the CE standard. However from the 4th July 2010 there was a transitional period where the previously marked BS7114 fireworks still could be sold and used up until 3rd July 2017. This transitional period was to help the old BS7114 marked fireworks to be filtered out of the market over this 7 year period.
After this transitional period, from the 4th July 2017 it is illegal for any retailer, wholesaler and distributor of fireworks to sell any firework marked with the old BS7114 mark as they no longer conform to the Pyrotechnics Articles Safety Regulations.
Any firework that is new in any way from 4th July 2010 has to comply with a range of safety regulations, and a batch of every new firework is tested before they go to the retails and distributors of fireworks. These tests that are carried out so that a firework or civil explosive conforms to a CE standard can be found here – Schedule 9 Safety Requirements.
To start with all CE fireworks have to be marked with the type of firework it is and its Category. For example the picture below (Shanghai Surprise by Fantastic Fireworks) tells you it is a “Category F2″ firework and is a”Battery of Shot Tubes” type. As you can see in the picture the firework has to have a lot more safety information on it as well including securing instructions, safety distances and effects descriptions. You can also see a NEC value of 343 g. This is how much explosive content the firework contains which has to be included. NEC stands for Net Explosive Content.
All CE marked fireworks have an ignition delay fuse as well, and with Category 2 fireworks the fuse should last 3-8 seconds and Category 3 lasting between 5-13 seconds. They have to have this delay so that the person or user lighting the firework has time to retreat before it starts firing its effects or shots. The safety distances under CE regulations for each category of firework are as follows:
Category 1 (Indoor Fireworks) – light and retire to at least 1 metre
Category 2 (Garden Fireworks) – light and retire op at least 8 metres. Spectators must be at least 8 metres away, although 15 metres is advisable
Category 3 (Display Fireworks) – light and retire to at least 15 metres. Spectators must be at least 25 metres away
All other internal fuses on CE fireworks, which usually have a quicker burning rate, have to be hidden and inaccessible to the user/firer.
Backup fuses can be found on CE fireworks as well, so if a firework fails to fire all of its shots it can be lit again after a 10-15 minute safety period. This warning should be labelled on a CE firework if it has a second reserve/back up fuse.
The actual effects and shots on every CE marked fireworks should also not burn below a certain height and distribute debris beyond a certain distance once the shots or effects have reached their apex.
Category 1 fireworks must not drop debris beyond 1 meter
Category 2 fireworks must not drop debris beyond 8 meters
Category 3 fireworks must not drop debris beyond 15 meters
So overall, due to the introducing of the CE standard this means fireworks have become safer as they are now being made to a better standard and have to go through strict testing to be able to be sold. One downside to the new CE standard is some popular items that were marked under BS7114 like Flying Pigs, Sunflowers, Waterfalls and Lanceworks can no longer be classified under the CE mark as these items all feature external fusing and are made in a way that is not very easy to cover up the fuse.
Make sure you stay safe and keep up to date with your fireworks by checking out our blogs by Fantastic Fireworks