• Never connect the explosive props to the ignitor props until you are ready to not go near the props again
  • Never work with pyrotechnics alone. Make sure somebody is around.
  • Protection gear
    • Wear ear protection that is made for rock concerts - you want to be able to hear somebody scream and warn you about things, but (if a prop should go off) you don't want to lose your hearing completely
    • Wear a clear, comfortable face mask. The simple plastic masks that wood workers use when toting chain saws is perfect
    • Use gloves if they don't get in the way of your work (I always wear a pair of thin leather fighting gloves). It is easier to get rid of burning gloves than to put your hands out.
  • Clothing
    • Wear lots of clothes - even if it is hot. A thick sweater and a leather jacket might save your limbs (or even your life) if a prop goes off.
    • Do not wear loose clothing that can make you bump into things
    • Do wear clothing that can be taken off quickly (you don't want to be stuck in a pair of burning pants because you can't get your belt off)
    • Never - ever - wear anything of polyester or nylon. That stuff will harm you badly if it starts burning. Wear cotton and wool
  • Protection props
    • Have a few buckets of water nearby
    • Have a few fire extinguishers nearby, preferrably of the CO2 type. Failing that, get a few powder or foam-blasting ones.
  • Pyrotechnics safety
    • Humidity, cold and heat might affect the way props (don't) work - because you don't always know what a prop has been through, make sure you calculate for unexpected things to happen.
    • Make sure to always keep safety distances - if it says 10 foot on the prop, make sure the audience is 15 feet away. If it says 20 feet, keep them 30 feet away.
    • Do not let anybody go near the pyro effects.
    • Make sure nobody with mobile phones are near the pyrotechnics controller or the effects themselves.


  • Order of importance:

    At all times, make sure the following are safe:

    1. Your audience
    2. Your fellow artists
    3. Yourself
    4. Things that might catch fire.

    If you see that something is going wrong, and have to prioritize on something that needs saving, use the list above. If things go horribly wrong during a performance, and you can only save one thing, save your audience. After all, they don't know what is happening or why.


Also remember: When you are using pyrotechnics props, you are responsible. If a trick is dangerous to the actors, make them aware of the dangers. If it is dangerous to the audience - for your own sake - do not use it.

- - -- --- ---- SAFETY FIRST ---- --- -- - -

Back to the node on pyrotechnics

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