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Small bore 2" and 2.5" aerial shells - should these be allowed to be sold to the public satisfying certain conditions?

Should small 2" and 2.5" aerial shells be allowed to be sold to the public in certain circumstances?

  • Yes they should as long as private users train to use them safely and get competance certification

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • No not even these should NEVER reach public hands no matter how trained and safe you are with them

    Votes: 1 33.3%

  • Total voters
    3
  • This poll will close: .
#1
It depends how you all feel on this. Personally as long as they are used properly and fired by trained individuals whom gain competance and safety awareness in their use wearing suitable protective clothing and equipment while firing them, then I see no problems with this.

They don't have to be sold everywhere i.e. through specialist licenced all year round retailers not seasonals and the specialist all year outlets would have a requirement by LAW to insist on production of a competance and training certificate over the counter BEFORE cash changes hands and they can walk away with them. NO CERTIFICATE PRESENTED THEN NO SALES.

On the other hand, the firework regulation do-gooders, saddos and the health and safety nutters would have a field day with the UK firework manufacturers distributors and importers, disagree and say that "no matter how safe and no matter how competent and well trained an individual is, it shouldn't happen and the risk is far too great for this to be allowed to happen".

Small shells 2-2.5" are less of a problem at 15 metres away than anything bigger : the vintage Sohni (Esco) Martian Missile shell pack £4.50 retail of the 80's with 3 2" shells and mortar tube weren't massive and used correctly at a safe distance away weren't exactly dangerous when used properly by the home user, I can testify because I fired them myself wearing a hard hat safety goggles ear plugs and gloves while firing them to protect myself and I didn't have any accidents at all.

Over to you, what do you think?
 
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#2
The problem is never the people who are safe with fireworks its the ones who are not who are the problem. You may get a certified person purchasing shells from a licensed seller but what's to stop them then selling them on to any Tom, Meat cobbler or Harry. At the moment shells are entering the country anyway to anyone who wants to take the risk of importing, if they were in the country legally it may be easier for these then to be sold more easily on to anyone.
 
#3
The problem is never the people who are safe with fireworks its the ones who are not who are the problem. You may get a certified person purchasing shells from a licensed seller but what's to stop them then selling them on to any Tom, Meat cobbler or Harry. At the moment shells are entering the country anyway to anyone who wants to take the risk of importing, if they were in the country legally it may be easier for these then to be sold more easily on to anyone.
But why would responsible fireworks enthusiasts whom are certified and trained to use them sell them on? And how do you know that they would do that? That's just mere all-out hearsay. By blatantly blaming ALL responsible fireworks users by saying that they would do is most unfair of you.

And it's extremely hard to import CE Cat F4 professional display fireworks and indeed unclassified untested uncertified import fireworks into the UK undetected, they ALL have to come through seaports (they can't be taken on planes) and ALL containers of fireworks are checked in the ports for UN numbers, BS-EN 15947 classification, explosive classification i.e. 1.1 / 1.3 / 1.4 etc, manufacturer / importer details etc.

AND it doesn't just stop there either, because HSE inspectors ALSO check everything port-side before it even gets on to the lorries, and if they want to, they also at any point, can spot test and ignite a sample of ANY firework product there and then for BS-EN15947 / CE compliance and give the go ahead for it to be delivered to manufacturers / importers firework magazine stores In the UK or order it to be destroyed to be destroyed at specialist facilities if it's unsafe and dangerous.
 
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#5
At the end of the day, what harm do shells do?

I have sadly never launched 1 myself, but from what I gather with the ban, the reason for it was due to misuse. Sadly some people died when launching them but as we know, the fuse would give long enough time to retreat to a safe distance and so if used correctly, they are just as safe as any other pyro.

Small bore's are already sold to people with a licence as they are cat 4? (Actually that's a good question I have wondered. Shells, bangers, mini rockets are banned for public purchase but are cat 4? If a cat 4 licence holder wanted some for a display, where would they even get them from? Importing them legally themselves? Or is there a top secret cat 4 licence holder warehouse here somewhere that they can go in and buy them for a display?)

The thing with training is IMO a good idea and it would be good if the govt permitted something like that, but what sort of training would it be? For such small shells, it's designed to be a general consumer product? They are widely available in the states to all consumers from having a look online. So the training would be not unlike teaching someone to load a rocket into a rocket tube?


Although it probably wouldn't work with shells as the shell would burn to bits, I had an idea ages ago of mini style/erratic flight rockets and even those helicopter things being legal again. Some sort of training before being able to buy them or each pack being marked with a unique 'customer code'. When someone buys a pack, they have to show full photo ID and proof of address. This gets logged and if those fireworks were misused, the spent firework would still be intact and the buyer can be traced and fined. While it could work, the govt's stance will be 'why create the chance of a crime to be investigated, when they could just remain banned and not have any chance of a crime to investigate'
 
#6
At the end of the day, what harm do shells do?

I have sadly never launched 1 myself, but from what I gather with the ban, the reason for it was due to misuse. Sadly some people died when launching them but as we know, the fuse would give long enough time to retreat to a safe distance and so if used correctly, they are just as safe as any other pyro.

Small bore's are already sold to people with a licence as they are cat 4? (Actually that's a good question I have wondered. Shells, bangers, mini rockets are banned for public purchase but are cat 4? If a cat 4 licence holder wanted some for a display, where would they even get them from? Importing them legally themselves? Or is there a top secret cat 4 licence holder warehouse here somewhere that they can go in and buy them for a display?)

The thing with training is IMO a good idea and it would be good if the govt permitted something like that, but what sort of training would it be? For such small shells, it's designed to be a general consumer product? They are widely available in the states to all consumers from having a look online. So the training would be not unlike teaching someone to load a rocket into a rocket tube?


Although it probably wouldn't work with shells as the shell would burn to bits, I had an idea ages ago of mini style/erratic flight rockets and even those helicopter things being legal again. Some sort of training before being able to buy them or each pack being marked with a unique 'customer code'. When someone buys a pack, they have to show full photo ID and proof of address. This gets logged and if those fireworks were misused, the spent firework would still be intact and the buyer can be traced and fined. While it could work, the govt's stance will be 'why create the chance of a crime to be investigated, when they could just remain banned and not have any chance of a crime to investigate'
IMHO large CE Cat 3 25 metre rockets are far more dangerous and hazardous than shells because the large cases and sticks falling back, especially if a display hasn't been planned with wind direction in mind with spectators backs to the prevailing wind, can cause serious injuries where they fall on spectators heads when the prevailing wind blows into the audience (they can fall back at hundreds of miles an hour after bursting and can cause head injuries or do some serious property damage to nearby cars greenhouses and conservatories), and there is also the danger of flash-through where the rocket doesn't take off and bursts in it's rack or launch tube at ground level (it does occasionally happen and is usually a manufacturing defect or product fault) spreading the payload dangerously towards firers in the display area (I know what this is like and if you are nearby as a firer it's pretty frightening unless like me your wear PPE when displaying) and the stars and rocket effect bursts possibly setting off other set out fireworks prematurely.

As for the training it would teach the purchaser how to safely set up the mortar and angle it away from property overhead obstructions and spectators, how to load the shells into the mortar and dangle the fuse over the rim, how to remove the fuse cover and ignite the tip of the fuse safely at arm's length (arm stretched out NOT putting the head over the top of the mortar, as some people ignorantly and blissfully do and did before they were banned, putting themselves at great risk) and getting back quickly after ignition and showing what NOT to do if an aerial shell doesn't go as well as highlighting the need to wear suitable protective clothing and equipment which is necessary and a must while firing them. ;)

And YES small bore shells are sold to firework display companies under F4 classification......
 
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#7
Sadly some people died when launching them but as we know, the fuse would give long enough time to retreat to a safe distance and so if used correctly, they are just as safe as any other pyro.

Not necessarily, some of the Chinese import shells that came into the UK via UK importers went off quicker than expected after ignition because they didn't have a visco fuse fitted to allow the user to get back quickly enough to a safe distance i.e. shells with a quickmatch fuse (this goes in mere milliseconds), also some of these Chinese import shells had a trait where they didn't go off immediately after ignition and after the visco had burnt up, making the user think they were dud and weren't going to rise and explode, with the result being, the user went back to them unaware, put their head over the top of the mortar or they would physically try to remove the mortar from the hole in the ground (in which they were buried) frustrated at it not going off (which is something you should NEVER EVER DO if a shell doesn't go immediately) and BANG!

It would hit them and explode on their head immediately killing them. Now I think what lead to the delays in detonation and ascendancy of the shell's upward flight was possibly damp conditions in the containers that they were shipped in causing visco fuses to go damp in transit and causing the irritating inevitable delay after ignition of the fuse.
 
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zephieish

Moderator
Wizard the 1st
#8
Unfortunately people get greedy, and giving someone a foot in the door to access something the masses can't just opens it up to abuse and some people will literally take advantage out of the situation sooner or later. Speaking from experience here.. not "making things up".

I guarantee within months people who have access would be selling it on at massively inflated prices to anyone who is silly enough to pay.
 
#9
Unfortunately people get greedy, and giving someone a foot in the door to access something the masses can't just opens it up to abuse and some people will literally take advantage out of the situation sooner or later. Speaking from experience here.. not "making things up".

I guarantee within months people who have access would be selling it on at massively inflated prices to anyone who is silly enough to pay.
BUT if you have to be trained and certified to obtain them AND your personal details are taken at the point of purchase as FireworksDude86 has sensibly said, then if any shenanagins were caused or if any mayhem was created it would be that YOU AS A PURCHASER ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE AND ARE LIABLE TO PROSECUTION FOR ANY DAMAGE OR INJURY, because the retailer has your details of yourself making a purchase of 2-2.5" aerial shells,and with that, there's no getting away from it whatsoever.

And it would not be like 'you could just walk off the street and buy them' because IF you have to be trained and certified to use small sized shells then it makes it more difficult to illegally obtain them because you cannot buy them without the proof you were trained and certified to use them, that's why I don't buy your argument at all, sorry to burst your bubble......

I doubt very much that people would take advantage and sell illegally 2-2.5" aerial shells to "idiots" at all.
 
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Somersetpyro

Moderator
Sovereign the 7th
#10
Sadly it's just not worth the risk, or the hassle. The main thing I can see is it's just not safe to fire shells above 1" in a back garden anyway, as the vast majority of gardens don't have anything like the appropriate safety distances. The only people any special competency certificate would really apply to are people who put on pro-level displays, and they could probably get round the issue by firing the display under a pro company's insurance and name, thus allowing them to use shells anyway
 
#11
Sadly it's just not worth the risk, or the hassle. The main thing I can see is it's just not safe to fire shells above 1" in a back garden anyway, as the vast majority of gardens don't have anything like the appropriate safety distances. The only people any special competency certificate would really apply to are people who put on pro-level displays, and they could probably get round the issue by firing the display under a pro company's insurance and name, thus allowing them to use shells anyway
Brock's did a safe 1" shell and mortar pack in the 80's called Brock's Star Shells (and I remember it well), the pack had 3 1" shells and a tall tube with a spike on it that you pushed into the ground, I don't see why this wouldn't have been a problem if it was sold today, and it would be 15 metres rated for spectator distance and 8m distance for the firer.

I don't see why 2-2.5" shells cannot be sold to Clubs, Pubs, School PTA's, Round Tables, Rotary Clubs, Guide and Scout Groups etc, for the purposes of public displays and if the Govt allowed these groups to purchase, buy and use them, subject to being adequately trained and certified of course in their use, this would restore the spectacular element to those events that was taken away by the ban on aerial shells other than to professionals in the 90's because of deaths caused by them.

Some groups, clubs and pubs still use self fired DIY kits today than use a professional and I can see why they do it,

(a) it's much cheaper,

(b) if you pick carefully, the fireworks are just as good as those F4 fireworks used by a firework display company pro display team,

and (c) it's far more fun to set up and fire your own show with two or three helpers wearing appropriate PPE than spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a 10 minute blast from a pro display team (and half of these public displays are an absolute rip off for 10-20 minutes of several hundreds of thousands of pounds)

I've used used aerial shells from various manufacturers up to the ban and change to Cat 4 status, and as long as you follow the instructions and wear appropriate PPE while firing them as I did, they're NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL.