How to Put on Your Own Fireworks Show

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Are you looking to wow your friends and family? As long as you have enough space, you can put on an impressive fireworks display at your own house using consumer fireworks. Sure, lighting off fireworks can be a little dangerous, but it’s worth taking the risk to see those beautiful peonies, chrysanthemums, dahlias, palm trees, and brocades light up the night sky. Follow these tips, and put on your own fireworks show this year.

Stretch Your Fireworks Budget

Thanks to inflation, fireworks now cost 20 to 30 percent more than they used to just a couple of summers ago. Vendors used to recommend that you spend at least $300 on fireworks, but with inflation, that’s going to be about $400 minimum. If you spend several hundred dollars, you may be able to talk the vendor into a bulk discount. You can also save money on fireworks by buying them at the end of the season (after the fourth of July, for example) and saving them for the next year. Vendors may be willing to give deep discounts on products that they’ll otherwise have to store over the winter. Just make sure to keep them in a cool, dry place so they’ll still be effective when you want to use them.

Prepare Your Fireworks Racks

Fireworks for an organized display should be set up in racks before the show, arranged so that they can be fired one after the other or a few at a time, depending on what kind of scene you want to create in the sky with your effects. Think about how you want the effects to complement one another when deciding what order to fire your fireworks, including artillery shells, rockets, and mortars.

Use a long piece of wood as a firework rack and fasten your fireworks in place using screws. Drive the screws through the bases of the firework tubes. These usually have clay in the bottom, so they’re safe to drill through. If the firework has a plastic base, you can screw that onto the piece of wood. If you have a lot of mortars or artillery shells you want to set off, build a mortar rack out of one-by-twos.

Block Off Plenty of Space

You’ll need a spacious backyard to host a home fireworks show. You will need to keep your spectators at a distance that’s one-and-a-half times the height to which the highest firework ascends. Behind the firing line, you’ll need space for a fallout zone, too. You’ll need about 45 square feet for each inch of caliber of the fireworks tube. So if the tube is one inch wide, you will need a 45-square-foot fallout zone. The fallout zone should be free and clear of any structures, shrubs, bushes, trees, power lines, piles of dry brush, and other flammables.

Bring a Fire Extinguisher Outside

Fireworks spew a lot of hot, fiery debris everywhere. They can start fires easily. You should make sure that your area isn’t under a burn ban before you start lighting off fireworks, because if it is, you could start a fire that could quickly get out of hand and you could face serious legal consequences as a result.

If you’re not under a burn ban, keep a fire extinguisher or a water hose at hand while you’re lighting off fireworks. That way, if something does catch on fire, you’ll be ready to put it out immediately.

Be Responsible with Fireworks

While most of the consumer fireworks available for sale in the United States are considered “safe and sane” and less likely to cause injury or property damage than some more powerful fireworks, you can still hurt yourself with consumer fireworks. Handle them carefully. While you’re lighting aerial fireworks, wear a full coverage (arms and legs) outfit made out of a natural fiber like cotton, that won’t melt if sparks fall on it. Wear a hat with a brim to protect your head and neck from sparks. Wear goggles, gloves, and closed-toe shoes.

Don’t let kids play with fireworks. Don’t hold lit fireworks in your hand, and always keep them in your line of sight. Don’t point them at anyone else. Don’t even lean over the firework while you’re lighting it. Reach in from the side with a grill lighter.

Putting on your own fireworks show can be worth the minor hassle of setting up your fireworks beforehand. Your friends and family will love seeing a neighborhood pyrotechnics display, and you’ll have just as much fun showing off your artistic side.