Pyrotechnics

Although many aspects of technical theatre can be dangerous sometimes, it’s worth remembering that pyrotechnics are dangerous all the time!

  • Always check with the venue administrator that it’s safe for you to use pyrotechnics.
  • Ensure that all scenery and costumes are effectively fireproofed.
  • Follow the manufacturers recommendations for safe distances and heights. It’s imperative that there is plenty of room above the pyrotechnic device’s maximum height before the ceiling surface.
  • Ensure that performers or the audience cannot get too close.
  • Always ensure that the pyrotechnics operator has a clear view of the pyro device, AND the area around it at all times. Do not fire the pyrotechnic if anything or anyone is out of place.
  • The pyrotechnic device must not be fired automatically by any system unless it’s in the hands of training, certified and properly insured professional pyrotechnicians.
  • Never use any home-made pyrotechnic device.
  • Use a cartridge-based pyro system when possible.
  • Always carry out a ‘test firing’ of each type of pyro you plan to use in the show, with all cast and crew present, so that they can see the effect under controlled conditions.
  • If in any doubt, seek advice from local fire authorities or the supplier of your pyrotechnic devices.
  • Only use devices specifically made for indoor theatrical use.
  • Ensure the floor is suitable – some pyrotechnics should not be fired on carpet.
  • Always have a suitable fire extinguisher on hand in the event of any problems.

Books

2010
2007
1997

External Links

Makers

Artem Props, Special Effects, Illusions, Set, Practicals, Pyrotechnics [UK]
Creating the Impossible Props, Scenery & Magical Illusions [UK]

Manufacturers

Le Maitre Pyrotechnics Stage Pyrotechnics [UK]
Rainbow Confetti Streamers & Confetti [China]

Practitioners

Groupe F Events [France]
Pyrovision Large scale displays
SkyHigh FX [Kent, UK]

Suppliers

Amabilino Pyro Displays [UK]
Firework Events Fireworks & Special Effects [UK]
HFM Pyrotechnics Ltd Consumer & Professional Pyrotechnics [UK]
MTFX Pyrotechnic effects [UK]
Sonic Fireworks [Devon, UK]
Special Effects Suppliers / SFX Supplies Hire and Sales [UK]
Star Fireworks [UK]
Strictly FX [IL, USA]
Theatre Effects [USA]
Ultratec Special Effects [USA, Canada, Germany]

Training

Just FX Stage Pyrotechnics Training [UK]

Unions / Associations

British Pyrotechnists Association [UK]
Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians [UK]
Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc. [USA]
Pyrotechnics Industry Association of Australia [Australia]