Every year, accidents occur during the July 14 and August 15 French holiday festivities. In 2015 unfortunately, reports came in of 11 injured in Monteux, 15 injured in Canet and 5 more in Castelsarrasin during fireworks shows that went awry.
Yet these risks are not confined to the actual launch itself! Incidents also arise during the storage period preceding the show, often owing to the fact that regulatory requirements and safety rules have not been respected. To guarantee the public's safety, rules of caution must be applied by all parties in [...]
In the pyrotechnics sector, 12% of accidents are related to inappropriate human intervention: mainly non-compliance with procedures (since the creation of the ARIA database, 132 accidents are in this case out of a total of 1076). Based on real examples, the purpose of this fact sheet is to present the typical configurations in which operators are knowingly bypassing procedures and investigating the root causes associated, in the different contexts described.
This document presents the conclusions of an analysis conducted on 322 accidents (104 in France, 218 in other countries) extracted from the ARIA database. For each stage of the fireworks process (manufacturing, storage, use, transport and disposal) major causes and circumstances involved in the accidents have been studied. Recommendations are presented, among those:
Need for an exhaustive risk analysis
Rigorous management of quantities of hazardous products present
Special attention to works/maintenance phases (10% of accidents) [...]
The destruction of pyrotechnic waste remains a hazardous activity; in France, this activity alone accounts for 15% of all accidents arising within the pyrotechnics industry, as catalogued in the ARIA database. Waste treatment steps are carried out on materials that in many cases are more highly sensitive or whose hazards are more minimally characterised. This waste may stem from scrap, defective or expired products or "stimulated" materials capable of triggering sudden fires, deflagrations or detonations. Therefore, the steps focusing on such mat [...]
As an expression of festivities, fireworks must however not be perceived as inoffensive or devoid of risks. Fired for hundreds of years, some fireworks today can be directly used by the general public, which has given rise to the need for both intrinsically safe products and a minimum level of user precaution. The present summary relies on an analysis of 316 accidents (102 in France, 214 elsewhere).
Two serious accidents that recently occurred in France along with others from the more distant past recall the risks associated with handling fireworks in small warehouses or shops, as well as the need to respect pertinent basic workplace rules.
Several recent accidents in France (along with others dating further back) have recalled that the handling of fireworks in small warehouses, depots, during the preparation or execution of fireworks shows, carry risks that must be prevented at least through regulatory compliance.
The items contained in this fact sheet are intended to draw the attention of all actors involved in organising and producing fireworks shows; these contents are not to take precedence over compliance with the regulatory requirements relative to explosives applicable to [...]
On a Saturday shortly before 3 pm, a fire broke out in the C2 workshop (used for manufacturing fireworks) at a fireworks depot. Local fire-fighters were notified. Rockets spread the fire to containers located just opposite the blaze. At 3:08 pm, fire-fighters arriving on the scene requested reinforcements due to the multiple fire sources detected. Fireworks were flying all around the workshop. Many onlookers from the adjacent street approached the scene in order to witness the spectacle and had to be moved further away by emergency responders. [...]