Bbc Watchdog Fireworks Feature

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Somersetpyro

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S-T Fireworks Guardian
Dec 16, 2013
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Thanks to @argentc on UKFR for pointing this out originally. I wasn't going to bother watching it but then another UKFR member mentioned that it had some flaws, so i gave it a go.
The beginning, where they talk about consumer fireworks was very poorly made indeed. Whilst it is very sad when people are injured by fireworks, it was pretty clear that the firework had not been set up properly, meaning it fell over towards the audience. Also the very start where the presenter says you can 'set them off wherever you want', this is total bullshit, you can, by law anyway, only light fireworks on private property, unless granted permission. Then the point that cat3 fireworks are for 'smaller displays', just oh dear.

Let me emphasise the point, when used carefully and properly, with all reasonable precautions taken such as secure staking, fireworks are very safe to use. Whilst, of course, they carry a risk (they are explosives after all), the risk is minimal if the correct distances are observed and correct securing is done.
When staking, make sure the stake is on the side of the firework that faces the audience, this means if it does break free, it should fall away from the audience. Also, it is best to place the firework on a hard surface such as an MDF board or paving slab, this can minimise the chance of the tubes blowing out (though this risk is minimal anyway). For extra advice, you local specialist supplier should be happy to help you, and if you've purchased the fireworks from them anyway they are likely to explain how to set them up anyway.

The second part of the show though did give an interesting insight for normal people into how big pro displays are organised, though clearly the presenter had no clue what the hell he was on about, he referred to a 6" shell as a rocket :omgdead But interesting none the less

Link to the program: BBC iPlayer - Watchdog Test House - Series 2: Episode 9
 

gaz

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Sovereign the 6th
Oct 6, 2012
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ok well... Erm did i just see one of fireworks international cakes?

This show is another way to get people who hate anything traditional angry again for bonfire night.

1 fireworks are part of a tradition not just for a display,

2. If you read the instruction carefully. And keep kids in doorways or allow them to look out of the window then no child would suffer injuries. Specially if the garden is small and maximise safety.

Stories like this do tend to send the wrong message to a already touchy topic. lets not forget lidl weco fireworks incident I didn't hear anyone injured from that and they are a well respected supermarket.
 

Somersetpyro

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yes, i think you did see a FI cake, bad news for them if it was...

exactly, as i pointed out in another post, they've been used for over 400 years to celebrate BFN, they're a part of our history.
As for safety, tbh it's not a bad idea, where possible, for all the audience to be inside, you can always open the windows so they can hear the noises. We utilise our large conservatory when we have any at home, it's the perfect viewing place and also allows the audience to be a bit closer to the action than they would if they were outside as the wind direction down here does mean rocket sticks and other debris does blow towards the audience, even though we only use cat2 8m max at home.
 

AnthonyUKpyro

Royal Knight the 3rd
Feb 13, 2013
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I watched this programme and was totally dismayed at the way it portrayed things;

YES all fireworks should be secured where necessary, a firework does just not shoot shots sideways for NO reason whatsoever unless inadequately secured (although occasionally as pointed out;some fireworks DO, for whatever reason, malfunction unexpectedly, and a certain brand we know (and I mention NO names) that's often available from cars/vans/car boot sales/odd pop up here today, gone tomorrow shops round firework season and occasionally dodgy sources does have the odd serious product malfunction or defect that can make the performance dangerous/unpredictable).

If you cannot stake then a deep builders bucket of sand or earth can also be used to great effect to secure a fountain/mine/roman candle/cake or barrage as long as the firework is buried to the line on the side MOST IMPORTANT (preferably in a plastic freezer bag unless the sand/earth is perfectly dry) and the sand/earth is firmed up absolutely steady afterward BEFORE LIGHTING to prevent rocking and/or tipping,

And Cat3 25m fireworks are used in large family displays where a few members of the family and friends get together for a big bonfire night party plus semi public and public events;school pta's/roundtables/scout and guide group displays/youth groups/clubs/societies/organisations etc. ;)
 

Somersetpyro

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S-T Fireworks Guardian
Dec 16, 2013
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The neighbour was almost certainly liable for the accident, cakes and powerful candles/mines MUST be secured properly, otherwise they will fall over.
If staking isn't possible, yes for smaller cakes/mines/candles sand/soil in buckets is the way to go, or just buy some big bags of sand from wickes or a builders merchant (bradfords sell them for about £5 each), and sandwich the firework between these.

There were obvious mistakes with what they were saying, if making tv programs, you have to do the correct research, you can't just come out with a load of bullshit like they did. Really would have thought the BBC would do better. But then again, as a government owned corporation paid for by taxes, maybe it's not as surprising as first thoughts....
 
Oct 13, 2012
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I watched this and it just makes fireworks ,consumer ones at least look bad. Of course they can be dangerous ,but so can a lot of things if misused or just not set up right.

I also worry about all the new 1.3g stuff coming out and the big rockets and the resurgence of air bomb cakes and generally louder fireworks. Most on forums love this stuff, but I fear it will annoy a lot of people and give fuel to the anti pyro brigade.

Also in the bbc film ,the cakes they light seem to be a different brand to FI , possibly diamond ,or it could just be me .
 
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Somersetpyro

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S-T Fireworks Guardian
Dec 16, 2013
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They are explosives after all, i'm not sure some people actually remember that :omgdead Then again, if you think, everything we do carries a risk, take driving for example, probably the most risky thing anyone does day-to-day, but if you drive safely and comply with the rules the risk is very low. It's no different with fireworks.
I also worry about all the new 1.3g stuff coming out and the big rockets and the resurgence of air bomb cakes and generally louder fireworks. Most on forums love this stuff, but I fear it will annoy a lot of people and give fuel to the anti pyro brigade.
I see what you mean, there are far more air bomb cakes out now, and quite a lot of new stuff is cat2 1.3g. If anyone has a problem, just say something like 'dogs cause a problem when they Fudge Berries! everywhere and owners don't pick it up, but nobody campaigns for a ban on dogs do they?' :p