Frequently Asked Questions at Kaboom Fireworks
1) WHAT SHOULD I USE TO LIGHT MY FIREWORKS?
It is best to use a Punk Igniter, Barbeque Lighter, or--for super-fast lighting--a Road Flare to light your fireworks. Matches and lighters can be a pain, both literally and figuratively! Not only are matches and lighters difficult to light in the wind, but, due to the proximity of your hand to the wick, you can end up with a powder burn! Even experts have been known to come away with a black thumb, if you know what I mean!
2) LIGHTING 2 ITEMS AT A TIME:
Unless you are a licenced pyrotechnician, it is not recommended to light more than one firework at a time. However, if you do wish to light two or more simultaneously, appoint one person responsible for lighting each firework. In this case, it is best to use items that shoot at equal or similar heights so the audience will have a focal point to concentrate on and the combined fireworks bursts will be more spectacular!3) WHAT MAKES A GOOD FIREWORKS SHOW?
No matter what your budget, a good fireworks display is one with variety. Experienced pyro's know what they like & what they don't. The novice user should generally look to have a sampling from each category. A good way to begin a show is with a BOOM (e.g., a Sonic Boom or Super Sonic Boom) to get the audience's attention. Then build up with a few fountains and Roman Candles. Mix in some Sound Shells, Multi-Effects, Brazilians, and Barrages. Then, for the finale, use a Multi-Shot Cake, a large Barrage, a large Wheel, or a series of Bangs. Whatever your budget, a good rule of thumb is to start small, grow to a crescendo, & finish BIG!4) ARE FAMILY FIREWORKS DANGEROUS?
In following our Safety Instructions, referring to the instructions on a firework's packaging, and by using a little common sense, you'll be sure to have a safe and sane family fireworks event. Fireworks are explosives, and there is no place for carelessless in their use. Among other things, fireworks should never be used indoors or held in one's hand, and they should always be firmly secured before lighting. The most common injuries relating to fireworks usage, however, are caused by the mishandling of Sparklers. The glowing rod of a Sparkler remains extremely hot for some time after use. Children must therefore be taught always to hold a Sparkler by its handle only and at arms length, away from themselves and others. Play safe with Sparklers and douse them with water after use.5) SECURING FIREWORKS BEFORE LIGHTING:
Whereas some fireworks have plastic bases and are freestanding (e.g., Multi-Effects), others must be placed into sand or in the ground (up to 1/2 of their length) for support. If you don't have grass or a garden, or if the ground is frozen, use a wheelbarrow or bucket filled with sand. A wheelbarrow with sand or dirt makes a great platform on which to set up and light your fireworks: e.g., it's ideal for larger displays since it allows you to plant numerous fireworks at once.
Note: if fireworks are placed too close to one another then one item can ignite the next. This is especially true where "Fountains" and "Barrages" are concerned. To avoid having one item set off another, place a tinfoil hat or cap over the tops or the wicks of items adjacent to the one your're lighting. This way, you can line up a few items in a row and protect items down the line from accidental ignition. In general, you should remember that a stray spark can set off an adjacent firework or an entire pile of fireworks. You should guard against this by always covering your pile of yet-to-be-used fireworks or keeping them at least 20-30 feet away from the ignition area.6) COLD WEATHER LIGHTING:
In cold weather, when you have a large display to set off in fairly quick order (because you may not want to stand outside for very long!) a Road Flare is especially useful for igniting. Take a standard Road Flare (available at any hardware store or Canadian Tire), tape the bottom 1/3 firmly onto the end of a broom handle or stick, and you now have a quick and handy fireworks lighting device that will keep you a good distance away from the fireworks. Road Flares cost between $5 and $6, and burn for approximately 20 minutes. They're ideal when you want to light two or more items off simultaneously. Ask your KABOOM representative about road flares when you place your order.7) TRANSPORTING FIREWORKS BY CAR (CANADA):
It is perfectly safe to transport Class 1.4g Fireworks in your car or van. Up to 75 kg may be transported in a private passenger vehicle. As a precaution, keep the fireworks in the trunk or under the seat, i.e., out of the direct sunlight. A cardboard box is often most convenient for transport and handling.8) CAN I STORE FIREWORKS IN MY HOME?
Canadian federal law permits the storage of 10 kg or less of fireworks in a dwelling or a place attached to a dwelling (e.g., a garage) so long as:
(i) the fireworks are kept in a dry place away from any source of heat and any substance that could cause ignition; and
(ii) the fireworks are kept inaccessible to everyone under 18 years. of age.9) HOW LONG DO FIREWORKS LAST?
Fireworks have an extremely long shelf-life so long as they are kept dry. For ideal storage, keep your fireworks in a non-humid environment with a fairly consistent temperature, stored in a cardboard box. Do not store fireworks in a sealed plastic cooler, tub, or tupperware container: these materials prevent air circulation and may cause condensation. This way, your leftover fireworks from Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day or New Year's won't be wasted!10) CAN I LIGHT FIREWORKS OFF YEAR-ROUND?
The rules & regulations on lighting Class 7.2.1 Consumer Fireworks differ in each area. For example, some municipalities in Canada allow fireworks to be set off at any time of the year, whereas in others the local by-laws restrict fireworks usage to certain days or times. The best way to get info on the regulations in your municipality is call your local fire department. In most cases, you can get permission to do a display on your property even if it is the off-season.11) DO I NEED A LICENCE TO PURCHASE OR SET OFF KABOOM FIREWORKS?
In order to purchase and use Class 7.2.1 Family/Consumer fireworks in Canada one must be 18 years old and use them according to instructions, at safe distances, outdoors, properly set up for firing, etc. You do not need a special licence. Pyrotechnic licencing is required only for Class 7.2.2. theatrical, indoor, and display fireworks, whose use requires a valid card as a pyrotechnician or display fireworks supervisor.12) WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET A DUD?
Though it is rare for fireworks to fail or misfire, KABOOM Fireworks has always had a no-questions-asked return policy in the event that one of your items fails to work properly. Simply notify us in writing or bring the item in and we'll gladly exchange it or credit your account for your next purchase!13) CAN I EXCHANGE/RETURN FIREWORKS IF I HAVEN'T USED THEM?
Canadian federal law prohibits the resale or redistribution of fireworks once they have left our premisses. This is because the seller/supplier must know for certain & at all times how the fireworks have been handled, stored, and if they have been altered or affected in any way that might present a danger to the end-user. It is in the interests of public safety that we are unable to resell or redistribute fireworks. No returns or exchanges are allowed except in the case of duds: for your safety, all sales are final.
14) WEDDING FIREWORKS & SPARKLERS:
A fireworks display during your wedding party can add a beautiful touch to your celebration. Some people prefer to keep things simple, say, handing out sparklers for their guests to light as the bride and groom walk to their car. Others like to have an arrangement of Fountains spraying up in a line. And still others prefer a full-tilt BLAST! Whether you are interested in a do-it-yourself package (complete with instructions for placement & firing order) or having someone set off your display, we can provide you with a variety of options for your wedding. Our wedding packages are customized based on our suggestions and your preferences. The cost depends on the length of the show.15) CANADIAN PYROTECHNICS CERTIFICATION COURSES:
Information on Indoor Pyrotechnics/Display Fireworks licencing can be found at the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada's website, under the "Education" link at www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/explosif/.
16) ADDITIONAL INFO ON CANADIAN FIREWORKS REGULATIONS:
KABOOM Fireworks Inc., of Toronto, Ont., Canada, specializes in retail sales of 1.4G (UN 0336) Fireworks, commonly known as Consumer Fireworks or Family Fireworks, & formerly called Class C Fireworks. Regulations pertaining to the use, transport & storage of 1.4G pyrotechnic articles can be obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada (Explosives Regulatory Division), located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, or by contacting KABOOM Fireworks at our head office in Toronto, Canada.17) THE ANATOMY OF FIREWORKS:
We often get requests about how fireworks are made. Check out: (1) this excellent Nova feature on the science behind the bang, (2) an informative presentation provided by Atlas Pyro, (3) a comprehensive explanation (including video) of different types of fireworks at HowStuffWorks.com, or a detailed look at fireworks colours and a fireworks Periodic Table at About.com!