Draft Operational Conditions for Pyrotechnician's and Single Use Fireworks Licences under the NSW Explosives Act and Regulation

Operational conditions for pyrotechnician's and single use fireworks licences under the nsw explosives act and regulation

fireworks over harbour

Introduction

This document states the standard operational conditions that – under the NSW Explosives Act – are imposed on the following licences issued by SafeWork NSW:

  • pyrotechnician's licence, and
  • fireworks single use licence (FSUL).

Non-compliance with the conditions may lead to on-the-spot fines, suspension, or cancellation of the licence and/or prosecution for breach of licence condition.

The Operational Conditions should be read with the NSW Explosives Act 2003, the NSW Explosives Regulation 2013 and the General Explosive Licence and Security Clearance Conditions.

If you are buying, possessing and using authorised fireworks you must hold a current pyrotechnician’s or Fireworks Single Use Licence (FSUL) issued by SafeWork NSW. The licence will specify the types of fireworks and, in the case of aerial shells, the maximum size permitted under your licence.

The NSW Explosives Regulation provides that a pyrotechnician's licence authorises the licence holder to carry out the following activities:

  • purchasing, possessing, using, storing and transporting display fireworks
  • purchasing, possessing, using, storing and transporting a distress signal (other than for the purpose of a distress signal)
  • purchasing, possessing, using, storing and transporting a model rocket propellant device containing an ignitable substance or ignitable 
    substances exceeding 62.5 grams in mass.

The NSW Explosives Regulation provides that a FSUL authorises the licence holder, on only one occasion to purchase, possess, use, store and transport display fireworks.

Separate licences are required to manufacture, import, and supply fireworks, and to store or transport fireworks in excess of the quantities permitted by Section 5 of this document. For instance, the supplier of the fireworks must also hold an appropriate licence that authorises them to supply fireworks; otherwise they are supplying the fireworks illegally. A pyrotechnician's licence or a FSUL does not authorise the holder to sell fireworks.

The conditions stated in this publication are in addition to any conditions listed on or supplied with the licence. Licence holders are also required to comply with the requirements of the:

  • Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail (AEC)
  • Australian Standard (AS) 2187.4, Explosives – storage, transport and use, unless specified by the regulator
  • Position Paper - Storage of large quantities (greater than 250kg NEQ) of fireworks in NSW.

Information provided in italics are the conditions imposed on pyrotechnician’s and FSUL licence holders. Information not in italics are guidance or reference material.

Guidance or reference material may provide a further explanation to a condition and/or refer to an obligation imposed on licence holders under the Explosives and Work Health and Safety Legislation.

Condition 1: Types of fireworks display

Condition 1.1:

It is a condition of licence that the type of fireworks display must be specified in the fireworks display notification to SafeWork NSW. Where the venue or display qualifies for multiple types of firework displays, all types must be specified.

The following are permitted types of fireworks displays:

Outdoor displays – a display of fireworks outside of buildings or shelter, including but not limited to a show, festival, fete, outdoor stadium event, sporting event, or rooftop display.

Indoor displays – a display of fireworks inside of buildings or shelter, including but not limited to a musical concert, theatrical performance, indoor stadium event, or wedding reception.

Technical non-display – the use of fireworks not for the purpose of performing a display for an audience, including but not limited to evaluating the safety or performance of fireworks, or generating practical pyrotechnic effects (e.g. to scare birds, or to track drain reticulation), or operating model rockets.

Notify SafeWork NSW at least seven working days before using any fireworks, distress signals (if not using it while under distress) or model rocket propellant device.

Condition 1.2:

It is a condition of licence that the use of fireworks is only permitted where there has been a notified display to SafeWork NSW.

This may include sporting events, concerts or other performances using close proximity or theatrical fireworks. A pyrotechnician’s licence does not authorise the use of fireworks or other explosives such as special effects in film and television.

SafeWork NSW requires that firework displays, including close proximity and theatrical fireworks used for entertainment or recreational displays, to be notified and conducted only by the holder of a pyrotechnician’s licence.

Condition 1.3:

It is a condition of licence that events using fireworks and/or other explosives for practical special effects in film and television industries, in a manner beyond theatrical displays for entertainment, may be notified and conducted only by the holder of a Blasting Explosives User Licence that is specifically endorsed for special effects.

Theatrical devices such as spark, flame and smoke generators that contain no explosive material are not subject to explosive licensing or these conditions, however they may represent ignition sources capable of initiating fireworks and are subject to standard risk management obligations under Work Health and Safety Legislation.

The use of all such devices, and any dangerous goods or combustible materials involved in their operation at a fireworks display, must form part of the fireworks display risk assessment. Fireworks must be stored, prepared and used a safe distance from devices and materials capable of initiating fireworks or vulnerable to damage by fireworks at all times.

Condition 1.4:

It is a condition of licence that an aquatic licence is obtained from the Roads and Maritime Services prior to any notified aquatic fireworks display.

An aquatic licence is required for organised activities (such as fireworks displays) on, or in, navigable waters. For more information contact Transport NSW or go to the Transport NSW website.

Condition 1.5:

It is a condition of licence that any display from a barge or vessel is only electronically ignited.

Condition 2: Notifying authorities and/or agencies

Condition 2.1:

It is a condition of the licence that when planning a fireworks display, the licence holder is required to notify the following authorities and/or agencies in writing:

  • SafeWork NSW – at least seven working days prior to the display
  • local council – at least seven working days prior to the display.

The council may apply conditions for the conduct of a particular notified fireworks event or may object to the fireworks event taking place

  • local area commander of police and/or local police – at least two working days prior to the display
  • local NSW Fire and Rescue (and/or Rural Fire Service, where applicable) – at least two working days prior to the display.

In the instance of a total fire ban, contact FRNSW and/or RFS to determine whether there is an exemption for the use of fireworks. Refer to the conditions of the total fire ban, fireworks may or may not be exempt. Exemptions will be published in the total fire ban gazette in force at the time.

  • other applicable agencies – at least two working days prior to the display or in accordance with the requirements of the agency concerned.

Other applicable agencies include but may not be limited to the following: Local Council, NSW Police, NSW Fire & Rescue, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Water Police, Roads and Maritime Services, Civil Aviation Authority and Air Services Australia.

To make sure that you are contacting the correct agencies for your individual situation, please refer to the Fireworks display checklist (catalogue no. SW08132).

Condition 2.2:

It is a condition of licence that notified fireworks displays must not proceed if any of the authorities specified above raise objections to the event and the Pyrotechnician or Fireworks Single Use licence holder has not been able to resolve those objections with the relevant authority.

Condition 2.3:

It is a condition of licence that a fireworks display cannot proceed without the written acknowledgement provided by SafeWork NSW.

  • A written acknowledgement for a pyrotechnician notification will be in the form of a receipt, prefixed by NFD.
  • A written acknowledgement for a Fireworks Single Use notification will be in the form of a licence, prefixed by XFSU.
  • This acknowledgement confirms the authority to possess, store, transport or use fireworks for a given display. Without this acknowledgment, a display cannot proceed. Each notification incurs an administrative fee.

Condition 2.4:

It is a condition of licence that any fireworks notification received by SafeWork NSW for an organised display, that is less than seven working days prior to the display, must be accompanied by a letter from the relevant local council or the relevant authority responsible for the area in which the display is to be held, stating they have no objection to the display proceeding.

SafeWork NSW may refuse to acknowledge a notification received within two days prior to a fireworks display, or where insufficient information has been provided.  SafeWork NSW may also implement a final submission date for notifications received, such as New Year’s Eve or long weekends. Late fees may be applicable.

Condition 2.5:

It is a condition of licence that any fireworks notification received by SafeWork NSW for an organised display, that is more than three consecutive days and limited to three months at the same location, must be accompanied by a non-objection letter from the relevant council or the relevant authority responsible for the area in which the display is to be held.

Notification may only attract one fee.

Condition 2.6:

It is a condition of licence that any fireworks notification received by SafeWork NSW for a theatrical display (only by the holder of a pyrotechnician’s licence) that is more than three consecutive days and limited to twelve months at the same location, must be accompanied by a non-objection letter from the relevant council or the relevant authority responsible for the area in which the display is to be held.

Notification may only attract one fee.

Condition 2.7:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks single use licence holders are only eligible to conduct fireworks displays on not more than four occasions in any twelve-month period.

SafeWork NSW considers multiple displays conducted at the same location over not more than three consecutive days to be a single occasion that requires a single notification and fee.

Condition 2.8:

It is a condition of licence that, if a notified display is postponed or cancelled, the holder of a pyrotechnician’s licence or fireworks single use licence must notify SafeWork NSW of the change within 48 hours of becoming aware of the change.

Condition 2.9:

It is a condition of licence that, in the event of any changes to a notified fireworks display, the holder of a pyrotechnician’s or a fireworks single use licence must notify SafeWork NSW of the change, within 48 hours of becoming aware of the change.

Condition 3: Responsibilities

Condition 3.1:

It is a condition of licence that the licence holder must:

a. possess, use, store and transport display fireworks in a safe manner
b.  only use fireworks according to the specifications of the fireworks manufacturer
c. ensure all equipment is in good repair and appropriate to the requirements of the fireworks event
d. comply with any conditions imposed by any federal, state or local government authority having jurisdiction over fireworks events
e. comply with AS 2187.4, Pyrotechnics - Outdoor displays. Where there are any inconsistencies between the Standard and these Conditions, these Conditions take precedence
f. obtain liability insurance for all indoor and outdoor displays undertaken by a pyrotechnician, even if the event is for charity
g. provide verifiable advance notice to those people who might be affected by the display, such as neighbours of the display site

Verifiable advanced notices may be in the form of, but not limited to; typed letterbox drops, notice in local paper, community notice board, community social media.

h. obtain written approval from stables, kennels, or veterinary clinics within 500 metres, and notification of owners of animal sanctuaries between 500-1000 metres of the firing site.

Risk assessment

Condition 3.2:

It is a condition of licence that the licence holder must:

a. Undertake and produce on request by SafeWork NSW or an Inspector, an electronic or hard copy of a site-specific written risk assessment that ensures the safety of all persons, property and animals that may be affected by the fireworks event.

b. Complete the risk assessment prior to the display. The risk assessment must include:

  1. a site sketch or diagram outlining the display, with positioning and firing points of fireworks
  2. the transport and storage of fireworks
  3. safe systems of work that include addressing preparation, supervision, observation, operation and cessation (where applicable)
  4. the provision for suitable distances, ensuring 'fall safe' of all hazardous debris and malfunctioned fireworks. Hazardous debris is material likely to cause a fire, injury to persons or damage to property and it may include items such as sparks and embers
  5. the suitability of the display area
  6. weather conditions and the monitoring of these throughout the display
  7. excessive noise
  8. accidental ignition
  9. security of pyrotechnics or fireworks; prior, during and post display
  10. securing supports
  11. the angle of launch or firing
  12. the consequences of misfires or the malfunction of pyrotechnics or fireworks
  13. the disposal of malfunctioning pyrotechnics or fireworks
  14. emergency planning and response
  15. adequate water supply to the area
  16. adequate lighting of work areas
  17. controls to prevent neighbouring buildings being affected by smoke and, or hazardous debris from the fireworks display

c. inspect all fireworks prior to the fireworks event. Mark and set aside any damaged or faulty fireworks to prevent use

d. inspect all equipment prior to the fireworks event. Mark and set aside any damaged or faulty equipment to prevent use

e. Ensure there is a minimum of two people conducting each outdoor firework display and that they are 18 years of age or over. They must be trained and competent in the safe operation of the fireworks being used.

f. ensure there is a system in place that only allows for a person who holds a current security clearance or a fireworks single use licence to be left unsupervised with fireworks

g. ensure all persons directly involved or assisting in the fireworks event use appropriate personal protective equipment at all times during set-up, display and following the display

h. instruct and supervise assistants and observers prior to the display on their specific duties during the fireworks event

i. ensure adequate provision of security and first aid as they relate to the fireworks used in the display

j. Ensure the fireworks used are the appropriate size and type for the allocated clearance distance. Shells must not be used unless it can be guaranteed that the complete zone under the trajectory of the shell is under the control of the pyrotechnician and is free of people and is not vulnerable to bush fire. See Condition 8: Safety distances for displays of fireworks.

k. Ensure that steel mortar tubes, concussion mine racks or metal components – other than in the applications permitted below - are not used under any circumstances, unless permitted in writing by SafeWork NSW.

The following metal items may be used without written permission from SafeWork NSW:

  1. metal star pickets for defining barriers for crowd control
  2. nails, screws, staples, wire or strapping used to secure non-metallic mortars, tubes, base plugs, racks, firing lines, etc.
  3. round metal rods used to secure non-metallic items – such as cake boxes or individual fireworks – into the ground to ensure the stability and direction of the firework items contained within the box (these rods are to be securely hammered into the ground)
  4. steel posts and pickets used to support a set-piece
  5. metal pegs driven into the ground, to secure mortar racks and frames
  6. large steel bins, such as skips or mini-skips, in which mortars are supported in sand. The mortars must be located no closer than a distance equal to the size of the largest shell to be used. The base end of the mortars in the bin must be positioned on a firm base, e.g. 100mm of compacted sand and are adequately secured, by burying, at least three times the diameter of the mortar used.

Documentation and reporting

Condition 3.3:

It is a condition of licence that the licence holder must:

a. Keep a documented record of all fireworks events with details of the:

  1. date and time of each fireworks event
  2. verifiable identification document for all pyrotechnicians and assistants involved in the fireworks event, such as a government issued driver’s licence or security clearance
  3. quantities and types of pyrotechnic devices brought to, used (including misfires) at and taken from the display site
  4. events, such as malfunctions, misfires, near misses or any other unusual behaviour associated with the fireworks.

b. A NSW Police event number to be kept by the pyrotechnician or FSUL holder in the event of any serious incident, loss or theft relating to the handling of fireworks.

A licence holder must give the regulatory authority notice of any serious incident, loss or theft relating to the handling of any explosives or explosive precursors to which the licence relates, as per clauses 102 and 103 of the Explosives Regulation.

Condition 4: Types of Firework Displays

Condition 4.1:

It is a condition of licence that licensed pyrotechnicians can only possess and use the types of fireworks specified on the licence.

Specifications on the licence include:

a. Ground display fireworks
Display fireworks that primarily function on the ground and which may project stars, novelty and other effects above the ground, e.g. mines, roman candles, lances, fountains, comets, multi-shot cakes and wheels.

b. Aerials or aerial display shells
Display fireworks that are designed to be projected from a mortar tube by means of a lifting charge and to burst in the air, displaying stars, comets, rings, serpents, crackers, streamers or other effects. Where a pyrotechnician's licence authorises the use of aerial shells, the licence specifies the maximum size aerial shell that can be used under the licence; A FSUL does not authorise the holder to buy, possess or use aerial shells.

c. Salutes
Aerial shells that are designed to produce a single loud report on bursting in the air. Their receipt and use must be specified on the licence. They are known to disturb animals, particularly dogs and horses, therefore care and consultation are required to ensure that neighbours can protect their animals. Salutes larger than 75mm are prohibited in NSW.

d. Theatrical pyrotechnics (close proximity)
Pyrotechnic articles assigned to compatibility group G and S that are specifically designed for use at close proximity (10 metres) to performers, audiences and structures; typically used indoors (e.g. stage or studio) for theatre, concert, film and television productions; include gerbs, fountains, flash pots, fireballs, flame or smoke effects involving pyrotechnics.

e. Chinese string fireworks
Chinese celebration rolls or strings of Chinese firecrackers produce a rapid, loud series of reports and can cause disturbance to neighbours and animals. Consideration must be given to those likely to be adversely affected. Refer to Conditions 3.1g and 3.1h of this document.

Condition 4.2:

It is a condition of licence that Chinese celebration rolls or strings of Chinese fireworks are used in accordance with the following requirements:

a. The licence holder must ensure any loose firecrackers that detach from a Chinese celebration roll or string are accounted for, removed from the firing site and handled in accordance with regulatory requirements.

b. The licence holder must ensure that the Chinese celebration rolls or strings of Chinese fireworks must be suspended a minimum of three metres (or in accordance with the supplier's recommendations, whichever is greater) away from any building, vehicle, or other property likely to be damaged by exploding fireworks.

c. The licence holder must ensure that the area within a 10-metre radius (or in accordance with the supplier's recommendations, whichever is greater) of the string of fireworks must be cleared of all spectators. Only those lighting the fireworks and the lion dancers are permitted in the cleared area while the fireworks are lit and functioning.

d. The licence holder must provide hearing protection. Hearing protection is mandatory for anyone within the 10-metre radius while the fireworks are lit and functioning.

e. The licence holder must ensure that all debris resulting from the firing of Chinese celebration rolls or strings of Chinese fireworks are made safe immediately after firing. All hazardous debris must be swept-up and placed in a suitable receptacle by the licence holder so that control of the hazardous debris containing unfired fireworks is maintained.

*Handling of Chinese celebration rolls or strings of Chinese firecrackers that have been separated into individual firecrackers, is an offence under the NSW Explosives Regulation and carries a maximum penalty of $27,500 or on-the-spot fine of $1000.

Condition 4.3:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks single use licence holders are only authorised to use ground display and theatrical fireworks.

Condition 5: Possession, Transport and Storage of Fireworks

Condition 5.1:

It is a condition of licence that only the holders of a current pyrotechnician's licence or fireworks single use fireworks licence can purchase or receive fireworks.

Condition 5.2:

It is a condition of licence that holders of a pyrotechnician’s licence or fireworks single use licence are not permitted to transport or store more than an aggregate quantity 50 kg NEQ of fireworks classified 1.3G, 1.4G, and/or 1.4S, unless separately licensed to transport and store explosives.

Condition 5.3:

It is a condition of licence that 50 kg Net Explosive Quantity (NEQ) is the maximum quantity that can be transported or stored at any single time regardless of the number of notified displays.

Condition 5.4:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks may only be possessed, transported, and stored within five working days of a fireworks display that has been notified to and acknowledged by SafeWork NSW. Only those fireworks specified in the notification may be possessed, transported, and stored within the five-day period.

Condition 5.5:

It is a condition of licence that in the event of a cancellation or postponement of a notified display, fireworks must be returned within five days after the cancellation or postponement date to the supplier or stored at a facility licensed to store those fireworks.

If fireworks are to be stored at another licenced facility, it is essential that the amount licenced in the facility is not exceeded by the addition of these fireworks.

Classification of fireworks

Clause 88 of the Explosives Regulation states that a person who stores or transports an explosive (firework) of one hazard division with another hazard division must store or transport the explosives in accordance with the requirements of the hazard division that has precedence in the circumstances in accordance with the AEC. For example, where fireworks of different hazard divisions are transported or stored together, the combined load is classified with the highest hazard division in the load. Therefore, any load containing 1.3G fireworks is classified 1.3G, and any load containing only 1.4G and 1.4S fireworks is classified 1.4G.

Fireworks must be classified by the supplier or manufacturer in accordance with the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria as in force or remade from time to time, or the Default Fireworks Classification Table in the Australian Dangerous Goods Code as in force or remade from time to time. SafeWork NSW may accept or reject the classification of a firework or reclassify a firework as it deems fit.

Transport of fireworks

Condition 5.6:

It is a condition of licence that the transport of fireworks in quantities exceeding 50 kg NEQ requires a licence to transport explosives.

Condition 5.7:

It is a condition of licence that the transport of fireworks must comply with the AEC.

Condition 5.8:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be transported in closed, approved packages that are marked and labelled in accordance with the AEC.

Storage of fireworks

Condition 5.9:

It is a condition of licence that overnight storage of fireworks up to five working days before a notified display is only permitted at the address specified in the pyrotechnician's licence or fireworks single use licence. If the overnight storage of fireworks is at another location, notification must be provided to and approved by SafeWork NSW prior to storing the display fireworks.

Condition 5.10:

It is a condition of licence that 50 kg NEQ is the maximum quantity that can be stored at a single address regardless of the number of licensed pyrotechnicians residing at the address, unless the site is separately licensed to store explosives.

Condition 5.11:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be stored in a secure location so that they cannot be accessed by children or persons without a current security clearance or a fireworks single use licence.

Condition 5.12:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be stored in closed, approved packages that are marked and labelled in accordance with the AEC.

Condition 5.13:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be stored safely.

For example:

  • in a locked and labelled cupboard lined with timber and without internal metallic projections, located in accordance with separation distances defined in this section.
  • Fireworks must be segregated from ignition sources, combustible material, dangerous goods, and places where people regularly assemble.
  • Fireworks must not be stored in apartment buildings, caravan parks or underground facilities. Best practice is to store fireworks in a secure detached building at the appropriate separation distance. As per the requirements of Australian Standard AS2187.1.

Separation distances for storage of fireworks

Condition 5.14:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks of hazard divisions 1.3 and 1.4 must be segregated in storage at a distance of at least 10 metres from each other, otherwise the entire storage will be treated as hazard division 1.3.

Condition 5.15:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be stored at the approved separation distances from protected works, specified in Figure 1 and Figure 2, to minimise the consequences of any unplanned explosion.

The approved storage separation distance is not less than 0.5 metres from protected works for each 1 kg NEQ of fireworks, with a minimum of 10 metres.

Figure 1

Fireworks NEQ(kg)

1.3G and 1.4G

Minimum distance to Protected Works

Class A and B

<20 kg

10 metres

30 kg

15 metres

40 kg

20 metres

50 kg

25 metres

Formula: 1kg NEQ = ½ metre, with a minimum of 10 metres

Figure 2

Figure 2 graph

Note: The safety distances in figure 2 apply to the total NEQ kilograms for all fireworks of classification codes 1.3G and 1.4G.

Definitions (as per AS 2187, Explosives – storage, transport and use):

Protected works Class A

Public street, road or thoroughfare, railway, navigable waterway, dock, wharf, pier or jetty, marketplace, public recreation and sports ground or other open place where the public is accustomed to assemble, open place of work in another occupancy, river-wall, seawall, reservoir, water main (above ground), radio or television transmitter, main electrical substation, private road which is the principal means of access to a church, chapel, college, school, hospital or factory.

Protected works Class B

Dwelling house, public building, church, chapel, college, school, hospital, theatre, cinema or other building or structure where the public is accustomed to assemble, shop, factory, warehouse, store, building in which any person is employed in any trade or business, depot for the keeping of flammable or dangerous goods, major dam.

Condition 5.16:

It is a condition of licence that 1.3G fireworks must be separated from a vulnerable facility by not less than 90 metres.

Definitions (as per AS 2187, Explosives – storage, transport and use):

Vulnerable facility

Category of facility that includes, but is not restricted to, the following:

  • multi-storey   buildings – e.g. above four storeys
  • large   glass fronted buildings of high population
  • health   care facilities, childcare facilities, schools
  • public   buildings or structures of major historical value
  • major   traffic terminals – e.g. railway stations, airports
  • major   public utilities – e.g. gas, water, electricity works.

Condition 6: Preparation of Fireworks for a Display

Condition 6.1:

It is a condition of licence that fireworks must be prepared in accordance with the manufacturer's and/or supplier's operating and safety instructions.

Condition 6.2:

It is a condition of licence that electric means of ignition is mandatory for all:

a. salute shells

b. aerial shells greater than or equal to 100mm (4 inches) in diameter, or where multiple racks are secured together

c. fireworks on floating vessels and floating platforms.

Condition 6.3:

It is a condition of licence that a documented safety system is required for installing electrical igniters to any fireworks devices.

The safety system must include the procedures for safely attaching igniters to fireworks and the precautions necessary to safely transport, store and otherwise handle a firework with an igniter attached.

Condition 6.4:

It is a condition of licence that the transport of aerial shells greater than or equal to 200mm (8 inches) calibre, with electric igniters attached, is not permitted.

Condition 6.5:

It is a condition of licence that the transport of aerial shells less than 200mm (8 inches) calibre with electric igniters attached is only permitted where the pyrotechnician has included in the safety system:

a. procedures for safely attaching igniters to shells

b. the precautions taken to safely transport a shell with an igniter attached.

Condition 6.6:

It is a condition of licence that the transport on public roads of shells loaded in mortar tubes is not permitted without written approval from SafeWork NSW.

Condition 6.7:

It is a condition of licence that any alterations or penetrations into the fireworks article or device are not permitted.

Condition 6.8:

It is a condition of licence that minor repairs that do not change the performance characteristics of the fireworks are permitted by a licensed pyrotechnician.

Condition 7: Faulty Fireworks

Condition 7.1:

It is a condition of licence that prior to a fireworks display, all faulty fireworks are to be examined to ensure that any damaged fireworks are identified and isolated.

Condition 7.2:

It is a condition of licence that at the conclusion of a fireworks display, all unexploded and unused fireworks must be accounted for and made safe.

Condition 7.3:

It is a condition of licence that if the failure to fire was due to an electrical ignition failure only (i.e. no ignition of the electric igniter), salvage of the firework is possible if the electrical igniter's exposed copper wires are shunted to prevent electrical ignition. The firework must be handled and stored in a safe manner and under a documented safety system.

Condition 7.4:

It is a condition of licence that faulty fireworks that have malfunctioned should be made safe in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and then handled and stored in a safe manner and under a documented safety system.

Condition 7.5:

It is a condition of licence that where a firework has not performed as expected, the licence holder must inform the manufacturer or supplier.

Condition 7.6:

It is a condition of licence that faulty fireworks must be packaged, labelled and transported in accordance with the AEC.

Condition 7.7:

It is a condition of licence that a licence holder should dispose of faulty fireworks only in accordance with the instructions of the supplier, manufacturer or the regulators.

Condition 7.8:

It is a condition of licence that under no circumstances should faulty fireworks be disposed of by burning by the pyrotechnician or by any person other than those who possess a licence to manufacture explosives, that has been endorsed for disposal of fireworks.

Condition 8: Safety Distances for Displays of Fireworks

Condition 8.1:

It is a condition of licence that the minimum clearance distances for a fireworks display must comply with the following:

Item

Minimum clearance distance

Inside of any residence, tent, caravan, temporary structure or motor vehicle

Not permitted unless specifically notified to and approved by SafeWork NSW

Distance to any residence, tent, caravan, temporary structure or motor vehicle

50 metres

Distance to any temporary store of fireworks at the display site

As per Figure 9.1 Default Minimum Clearance Distances

Lateral distance to any overhead obstructions such as trees, power lines, mobile phone towers or roofs

As per Figure 9.1 Default Minimum Clearance Distances

Distance to any place where explosives, flammable liquids or other flammable substances are manufactured or stored above ground in bulk

250 metres

Distance to places of public assembly that are scheduled for use at the time of the display (e.g. hospital, nursing home, home for the aged, childcare centre, educational facility, theatre, cinema or church)

250 metres
The distance may be reduced where the facility owner or manager has provided specific written approval.

Distance to any place where animals are kept (e.g. animal shelter, stables, kennels or poultry farm)

Refer also to Condition 3.1h

500 metres
The distance may be reduced where the facility owner or manager has provided specific written approval.

Condition 8.2:

It is a condition of licence that at the firing site the licence holder must establish an exclusion zone during set up of display to ensure no unauthorised access to fireworks.

Condition 8.3:

It is a condition of licence that only persons authorised by the pyrotechnician shall be within the exclusion zone during the preparation, firing and clean-up of the display.

Condition 8.4:

It is a condition of licence that there must be no spectators, fire risk dangerous goods, dwellings or spectator parking areas located within the exclusion zone. The exclusion zone should be established as soon as possible after arrival at site and no fireworks shall be removed from a vehicle until the exclusion zone is established. At the conclusion of the display, clean-up shall not commence within the exclusion zone until clearance is given by the Pyrotechnician.

AS2187.4 - The Pyrotechnician or Fireworks Single Use Licence Holder shall liaise with the organiser of the display with respect to the security requirements for the display site. This includes appropriate measures to prevent access by spectators and other unauthorised persons to a display site for the duration of time where all pyrotechnic substances are present, including prior to, during and after the display, until all unfired or misfired fireworks are removed.

Condition 8.5:

It is a condition of licence that the minimum clearance distance for an outdoor fireworks display must comply with Figure 8.1 Default Minimum Clearance Distances.

Condition 8.6:

It is a condition of licence that where the spread of shells is greater than the listed minimum clearance distance, the minimum clearance distance should be increased accordingly.

Condition 8.7:

It is a condition of licence that if mortars for the firing of aerial shells or salutes are angled at more than 20 degrees to the vertical, the listed minimum clearance distances in the direction of flight must be doubled.

The following tables have been sourced from the Queensland Code of Practice – Control of Outdoor Fireworks Displays.

Figure 8.1 Default Minimum Clearance Distances

DEFAULT MINIMUM CLEARANCE DISTANCES

Display Fireworks

Default Minimum Clearance Distance

Lances and strings of firecrackers

10 metres

Fountains

  • Up to 25 mm max inside diameter
  • Greater than 25 mm inside diameter

20 metres

35 metres

All other fireworks not listed above including ground level and aerial fireworks

1 metre per millimetre of internal diameter of ground display firework and 1 metre per millimetre diameter of aerial firework. (For example, a 75mm aerial shell will have a minimum clearance distance of 75 metres and a 50 mm Roman candle will have a minimum clearance distance of 50 m). However, this distance must not be less than 35 metres.

The minimum clearance distance must be doubled when items of ground level fireworks or aerial shells* are delay chain-fused by the manufacturer, the fireworks contractor or the fireworks operator, e.g. a large multi-shot boxed item or a preloaded aerial barrage.

For multi-break aerial shells, the minimum clearance distance for aerial shells under 200 mm diameter must be based on treating the shell as the next largest diameter shell. For example, a 100mm diameter multi-break shell must have the minimum clearance distance for a 125 mm diameter single break aerial shell.

For multi-break aerials shells 200mm diameter and greater, the minimum clearance distance must be based on calculating the minimum clearance for a shell using the rule 1 metre per millimetre diameter of aerial firework and adding 50 per cent or half the distance to the calculated minimum clearance distance. For example, a 200mm diameter multi-break shell must have a minimum clearance distance of 300 metres and a 400 mm (16 inch) diameter multi-break shell must have a minimum clearance distance of 600 metres.

Note: Fireworks including aerial shells instantaneous chain-fused are not subjected to doubling of the default minimum clearance distances.

Figure 8.2 Typical Aerial Shell Drift in Windy Conditions

AERIAL SHELL DRIFT IN WINDY CONDITIONS

Wind Speed

Description

Shell Drift (Shell Diameter)

75 mm

150 mm

300 mm

Light breeze 8 km/h (5 mph)

wind felt on face; * leaves rustle; * ordinary vane moved by wind.

15m

16m

17m

Gentle breeze 16 km/h (10 mph)

* leaves in constant motion;

* wind extends light flags.

30m

32m

34m

Moderate breeze 24 km/h (15 mph)

* raises dust and paper;

* small branches move.

45m

48m

52m

Fresh breeze 32 km/h (20 mph)

* small leafy trees sway;

* crested waves form on inland waters.

60m

65m

69m

Strong breeze 40 km/h (25 mph)

* large branches move;

* wires whistle;

* umbrellas difficult to use.

75m

81m

87m

Figure 8.3 Wind Speed Equivalents

WIND SPEED EQUIVALENTS

Beaufort No

Category

Wind speed equivalent at a standard height of 10 metres above open flat ground

Specifications for estimating speed over land

  

Knots per hour (kn)

Metres per second (m/s)

Km/h

Miles per hour (mph)

 

0

Calm

<1

0- 0.2

<1

<1

Calm, smoke rises vertically.

1

Light air

1- 3

0.3- 1.5

1- 5

1- 3

Direction of wind shown by smoke drift, but not by wind vanes.

2

Light breeze

4- 6

1.6- 3.3

6- 11

4- 7

Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vane moved by wind.

3

Gentle breeze

7-10

3.4- 5.4

12- 19

8- 12

Leaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag.

4

Moderate breeze

11- 16

5.5- 7.9

20- 28

13-18

Raises dust and loose paper; small branches moved.

5

Fresh breeze

17-21

8.0-10.7

29- 38

19-24

Small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters.

6

Strong breeze

22-27

10.8-13.8

39- 49

25-31

Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty.

7

Near gale

28-33

13.9-17.1

50- 61

32-38

Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against wind.

8

Gale

34-40

17.2-20.7

62- 74

39-46

Breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress.

9

Strong gale

41-47

20.8-24.4

75- 88

47-54

Slight structural damage occurs (chimney-pots and slates removed).

10

Storm

48-55

24.5-28.4

89-102

55-63

Seldom experienced inland; trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs.

11

Violent storm

56-63

28.5-32.6

103-117

64-72

Very rarely experienced; accompanied by widespread damage.

12

Hurricane

>64

>32.7

>118

>73

Severe and extensive damage.

(Source: Bureau of Meteorology, Manual of Meteorology, Part 1 - General Meteorology - AGPS 1993.)

Figures 8.2 and 8.3 should be used to determine the minimum clearance distances, as well as how the effects of wind should be accounted for. Clearance distances should be extended, and angles changed if necessary.

Condition 8.8:

It is a condition of licence that for multi-breaks, the listed minimum exclusion zone must be increased to that for the largest aerial shell within the article.

Condition 8.9:

It is a condition of licence that no aerial shell can be fired from a roof top without the approval of SafeWork NSW.

For more information, contact the Department of Customer Service on 13 10 50, or email licensing@safework.nsw.gov.au.


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