Pyro Certification?

Cue3

CB Data Analyst
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Location
Virginia
Our Schools next play is Grease and all the tech guys want to make it a big show. So we were trying to deicde what to use for FX. We decided to go with the confettee cannon after hearing the news of the deadly nightclub fire involving pyros. WE really wanted to get pyors of some sort, but we feared the school would shoot us down. So here's the main question....how safe are pyros and how can you get certified to use them? Also is there any places to find good information so if i can't become certified, i can at least know what im doing? Thanks for all your help.

Matt Kenyon
Lighting Designer,
Stone Bridge High School
 

delnor

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
USA
Pyrotechnic certification is not required in all states, what you do need to do is contact your local fire department and find out the regulations and certifications required for your area. All pyrotechnics have a dangerous aspect to them, so I am not going to say that anything is outright safe. But if you have actual equipment that you either have purchased or rented for the explicit use of pyrotechnic displays, it is relatively safe. Safe or not, you are making things explode on stage near people so you should always exercise caution. Flash pots are probably the safest type of pyrotechnics to use on stage. I would not recommend gerbs (which started the fire you are referring to) or concussion mortars (which most fire departments deem unsafe and require addition safety precautions to be taken). If you do get put down on the pyrotechnics idea, tell them that the fire was started by gerbs and that flash pots have a much lower occurrence of starting any fires.
 

vulcan

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Location
eastern us
good call on the certification thing. certification also depends on the class of explosives you are using. as far as equipment, there are several web sites and catalogues that deal with pyrotechnics. the first one i can think of is www.stagefx.com hope this helps
 

techismylife

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
LeMaitre Special Effects has started offering a pyrotechnics training course. They demonstrate their effects which are all premade, and explain how to use them safely as well as how various control systems work. They put the information about it at http://www.lemaitrefx.com/old_site/pyrocourse.htm
I have not yet attended but have heard that it is very informative. Having a certificate of completion from this course will also help you display competency to your local fire authority.
--Lincoln
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
I think you also need to be at least 18.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
how safe are pyros and how can you get certified to use them? Also is there any places to find good information so if i can't become certified, i can at least know what im doing?


Matt, I cannot stress enough that there is no safe way to do what you seem to be thinking of. Becoming safe and competent at pyro is a process WITHOUT shortcuts, measured not in hours or days, but years. When you do try to "know what [you're] doing", you get: The Station/Great White fire. Those guys 'knew' what they were doing. Sure they did. (Sarcasm mode turned off). If you want to use pyro, you need to have the okay of the school district, your local Fire Department, permits and a LICENSED PYROTECHNICIAN. There is a moral obligation to NOT do this on the cheap, or to try to do this without licensed professionals. Also keep in mind that ATF is now keeping their hand in the sales/transport/use of pyro. If ATF comes knocking at your door, it is bad. Baaaaaaad.
 
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Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Our Schools next play is Grease and all the tech guys want to make it a big show. So we were trying to deicde what to use for FX. We decided to go with the confettee cannon after hearing the news of the deadly nightclub fire involving pyros. WE really wanted to get pyors of some sort, but we feared the school would shoot us down. So here's the main question....how safe are pyros and how can you get certified to use them? Also is there any places to find good information so if i can't become certified, i can at least know what im doing? Thanks for all your help.

Matt Kenyon
Lighting Designer,
Stone Bridge High School
First, how do you see pyro used in Grease, and two, no
 

jonhirsh

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario and Valencia, California
Ok so your going to get the reasons why your not going to be able to do it from many folks, So here is an easy to understand list of things required before you can produce an pyro show in any venue. Now i have my pyro license in Canada no in the states but 90% of this transfers over.


1. be over 18
2. Have a lincense a aprenticeship license takes about 2 years in Cali if i rember corectly.
3. Have Insurance (Personal or buisness for the person launching and Comercial for the location where the launch will happen) Must be atlest 5 Million dollars of coverage Property loss and damages as well as injury.
4. You must get an Per show certificate from your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) you AHJ could be a fire marshel or a police man or someone licensed as th AHJ
5. You may need to provided a demo of all effects performed in show conditions to get your show certificate, you must also provide an show plan with a detaild explaination of what you will be shooting off when.
6. Depending on your level of license you may need an supervisor with an higher level of license to watch over the setup launch and disposal of pyrotechnics.
7. Affter all this you now can buy your effects which are atleast 30 to 200 dollars a pop you will need to run atleast 5 rehersals with actors to make it safe. You must chose the height of the effects. If the celling is 9' would you use an 8' gerb NO you would not mabey a 6' but thats cutting it close.
8. you must have a dedicated operator who has only one job that is to run the pyro he/she must be lincesned.
9. he/she must have an clear sight of the pyro or he or she will not launch it if a clear sight is not possible then a spotter will have a clear sight and will be resposible for the go ahead.
10.you must use prefab gear under most insurance policys so the make shift flash pot is not ok.
11. there are distances which actors (willing participents) vs. Audiance can be within the effect. You must look up all distance with the manufactorer of the effect.
12. There is no such thing as safe pyro, only safe operators. Be safe and if it doesnt feel right dont launch the effect. NO one will be mad at you for being safe.


JH
 
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