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Ce Cat 1 1m Spectator Safety Distance On Small Fountains In Ce Cat 2 Boxes, A Safety Worry?

Discussion in 'Fireworks Chat And Discussion' started by AnthonyUKpyro, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. AnthonyUKpyro

    AnthonyUKpyro

    Wizard the 3rd

    This is a bit bonkers to me because if you stand 1 metre away as intended on the label, as many unaware people will do, then it opens up a potentially dangerous can of worms : I have found on small crackling fountains given this spectator distance, they spread uncomfortably close to spectators putting them at risk.

    Also if a malfunction happened or something went wrong with a CE Cat 1 1m outdoor firework resulting in somebody getting hurt standing at 1 metre away, then it's not the user at fault, it's the silly stupid and ridiculous protocols set out by BS-EN15947 : 2010 being enforced on UK firework manufacturers / importers and distributors that are at fault.

    BS 7114 : part 2 : 1988 took a far more sensible approach by giving all small outdoor fireworks intended for a back garden or back yard under Category 2 a far more sensible 5 metres, regardless of what NEC content and weight they contained, whereas BS-EN15947 bases all fireworks on NEC / weight and isn't quite as exacting or as sensible as BS 7114 : part 2 : 1988 is......and the result is, if fireworks fall under certain NEC / weight requirements, they quite stupidly fall under CE Cat 1 and get a silly 1 metre spectator safety distance!!!!

    The British Fireworks Association and British Pyrotechnists Association are indeed absolutely angry and are extremely FURIOUS about these European Standards BS-EN 15947 : 2010 because they also put powerful previous Cat 3 stuff which has been redesigned and reclassified at a dangerous 8 metres safety distance as well as brand new powerful 8 metre CE F2 fireworks at that distance, which doesn't properly take into account, fallout / debris distances away from the functioning firework case when it is going off as BS 7114 did.

    BS7114 part 2 1988 did indeed go way over the top on some small fireworks giving them a distance of 25 metres spectator distance, but at the same time, this was a good safety margin in case of a manufacturing defect or a malfunction in operation causing serious safety worries, and if a firer ignored that 25 metre spectator safety distance printed on the labels and packaging, and something went badly wrong with that firework and it hurt injured or burnt somebody, it would indeed be the firer at fault for not observing manufacturer's specified safety distance printed on the packaging and labels and NOT the fault of the manufacturer / distributor or importer.

    Now if accidents increase because of the anomalies of small selection box fireworks marked as CE Cat 1 fountains marked 1 metre being used at 1 metre and accidents are caused by powerful ex-Cat 3 fireworks redesigned and marked 8 metres (and indeed new powerful 8 metre fireworks) being used at 8 metres, then it could well get to a stage where Govt will either completely ban the general retail sale and private use of fireworks due to the horrific accident rates, OR and I think realistically, the better alternative is that the British Fireworks Association and British Pyrotechnists Association will bring pressure to bear on the Govt and plead with them to be allowed to make changes to to the BS-EN15947 : 2010 standard so things will happen in this way and we will see (if approved) :

    CE Cat F1 indoor fireworks being marked with and have a spectator safety distance of 1 metre or in the case of indoor hand held devices such as party poppers and indoor sparklers / novelty matches etc., no safety distance as these are quite safe to hold anyway,

    CE Cat F2 outdoor selection box / pack fireworks and single items being marked with a spectator safety distance of 8 metres all the way even on very small NEC weight items, and the possibility of outdoor hand-held sparklers being given a CE Cat 2 rating,

    Larger and more powerful CE Cat 2 outdoor selection box fireworks, and single / multipack fireworks and small display kits being marked with a 15 metres spectator safety distance with a firer safety distance of 8 metres (the firer firing these would also be advised to wear suitable personal protection whilst firing these in a safety leaflet or guide enclosed in selection boxes, display kits and multipacks and this would also be issued free at the point of purchase with those separate fireworks as well as a downloadable printable PDF version on the manufacturers / importers / distributors website),

    CE Cat 3 outdoor selection box / pack fireworks, display kits as well as individual CE Cat 3 fireworks, will be marked with a spectator safety distance of 25 metres, and a firer safety distance of 15 metres (the firer firing these would be expected to wear suitable personal protection whilst firing these and this information would be printed in a safety leaflet or guide enclosed in selection boxes display kits and multipacks and would also be issued free at the point of purchase with those separate fireworks as well as a downloadable printable PDF version on the manufacturers / importers / distributors website).

    Although even with Brexit, a lot of firework industry insiders have said that "to bring back British Standard 7114 would be extremely costly because of all the costs and expense to UK firework manufacturers / importers and distributors of changing existing stock to meet the new requirements of BS-EN 15947 : 2010", but personally I think that, realistically, pressure will be brought to bear on the Govt from the BFA/BPA which will force a change to undo this unsafe potentially dangerous situation and readjust safety distances etc within BS-EN15947 on current product lines and new ones. ;)
     
  2. Somersetpyro Moderator

    Somersetpyro

    Sovereign the 6th

    I'm unsure as to how outdoor fireworks can be classed as cat 1, I did think it was NEC, but TNT have 8m on all of their fireworks, including fountains with the same NEC as Cat 1 fireworks in Standard and Weco boxes. It's pretty mad IMO, i've yet to fire a selection box fountain that is genuinely safe from 1m.

    What i'd like to see is Category F2 split, so for example, Cat F2a would cakes under 20mm, and rockets below 40g NEC, as well as other fireworks currently cat 2, which would carry an 8m safety distance, and Cat F2b would be cakes above 20mm bore and rockets larger than 40g that don't fall under cat 3. That would be a sensible step for our country, and i'd let importers self certify the subcategories as it's not exactly hard to do. I doubt that'll ever happen though
     
    AnthonyUKpyro likes this.
  3. AnthonyUKpyro

    AnthonyUKpyro

    Wizard the 3rd

    The small Bright Star Monster to Family boxes which contain the minicule Spring Winter Autumn Summer box fountains : these are (CE Cat 1) 1m rated, and Olympic cone fountains across various Bright Star selections are also (CE Cat 1) 1m rated as are the same fireworks in the Star Burst rebadged selections too ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  4. AnthonyUKpyro

    AnthonyUKpyro

    Wizard the 3rd

    I think I know what you're getting at : -

    There would be 2 subcategories under CE Cat 2 for 8 metres and 15 metre outdoor fireworks which would make things a whole lot safer under a new regime and I think they would find favour with the British Fireworks Association / British Pyrotechnists Association and take away many worries -

    (a) CE Cat F2a fireworks which would apply to cakes barrages and multishot roman candles under 20mm bore size, 1.4g rockets below 40g NEC and other fireworks which would be labelled 8 metres spectator distance (this is a very sensible step indeed),

    (b) CE Cat F2b fireworks which would apply to cakes barrages and multishot roman candles over 20mm bore size (but less than 30mm bore size), 1.4g rockets above 40g NEC and other powerful fireworks that don't fall under Cat 3 (but which are far too dangerous in their performance / explosive power to be viewed at 8 metres spectator distance) which would be labelled 15 metres spectator distance.

    Anything with 30mm and greater bore size in roman candles / barrages and multishot cakes, plus very powerful fireworks such as compound cakes / single ignition units, 1.3g rockets, 1.3g tube mines, 1.3g fountain mines would sensibly stay in Cat 3 at 25 metres spectator distance as they always have been. ;)

    NB 1.3g rockets are pretty darn powerful (not to mention potentially hazardous at 8 or 15 metres away) and should never ever be in CE Cat 2a / 2b : it only takes a flash through of the rocket motor and detonation of the explosive contents in the head to scatter debris over the firer or even spectators if something goes seriously and chronically wrong with a 1.3g rocket in CE Cat 2a or CE Cat 2b.

    I have been pretty close to 1.3g rockets flashing through to their payloads instead of taking off exploding in their racks at ground level during multiple firings that I have done at a Galactic Fireworks social event and it's pretty frightening unless the firer is wearing full PPE as they should be doing (and I was at the time).

    These are sensible proper guidelines UK firework manufacturers / importers and distributors should be allowed to follow.

    Hand held outdoor sparklers would fall into CE Cat 2 and be treated and labelled as outdoor hand held sparklers (no need for a subcategory), and CE Cat 1 would purely cover indoor firework items only.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  5. Somersetpyro Moderator

    Somersetpyro

    Sovereign the 6th

    Something along those lines yes ant, I think it would be a sensible step, just adds a bit of a safety cushion to the regs, doesn’t make them perfect but then again they never will be. Thing is with rockets though, 1.4g ones can only be up to 20g, and I’ve fired some 1.3g packs like 5 alive, and even the Luna pack which felt perfectly safe at 8m (firers position) and are currently cat 2, I don’t think that would need to change, just be adjusted how I said further up :)