How to take a great photograph of a fireworks display
Achieving good photographs of firework displays isn’t just a matter of taking snapshots with a smartphone, but with a little […]
Since we deliver firework displays for a living you may not be surprised to read that we think using a professional company is a good thing! So if you are planning fireworks as part of a celebration or event, what are the advantages of getting someone in to do it for you?
Quality and Scale
The first thing to understand is that the fireworks used by professional companies; Category 4, are really quite different to the Category 2 and 3 fireworks members of the general public can buy – see our blog on the firework types. We all understand that bigger isn’t always better but if you have a lot of sky to fill you would be surprised how many fireworks you might need. Nobody likes fizz and phut when they step out of a warm marquee expecting to see whoosh and bang! If you can’t get the right impact for the event you are holding you might be better off with another case or two of champagne rather than trying to fire a display yourself.
Of course not all sites are suitable to use high impact fireworks such as star shells and larger candles and cakes that only professional companies have access to, but this brings us onto the next point.
Right Fireworks in the Right Place
A professional company will come to your proposed firing site and give you the
benefit of their experience to advise on what fireworks are safe to use – google is littered with examples where people used fireworks which were not appropriate to the location. Stories of the family ducking to avoid a star or the neighbour running out to douse the shed fire might be amusingly told but the consequences of firing the wrong firework in the wrong place can be very serious.
Things go wrong in the world so when they do everyone will look around to see which insurance policy will be tested. Nobody is immune to a public liability or personal claim (even at a private party) – I don’t recall ever going to a party where I indemnified my host in writing against loss or injury. Insurance for setting off fireworks at a private party is available to members of the public but the cost can easily exceed the cost of the fireworks you want to use. Often the caveats and exclusions are so prohibitive one can question what is actually being covered. A professional company will carry at £5M insurance as standard and many carry £10M. They will produce a Risk Assessment and Method Statement tailored to your event so that you can see they have considered the site specific potential hazards at your venue.
If you know that the 5 – 15 minutes of fireworks you wanted is being fired by a professional company who have inspected the site for appropriateness, have produced paperwork to show that they have given due consideration to the risks and potential hazards and will be firing effects that are generally more spectacular than anything you can buy – are you not going to feel less stressed?
Employing a professional company will give you peace of mind that the fireworks will be not only spectacular but fired safely.
No such thing as a discount in Fireworks
It is so difficult not to use the cliché – “you get what you pay for” but if you consider this it might make you understand why we think there are no discounts in a firework display, just fewer fireworks. If you hire a marquee or some lights those bits of equipment will return to the store to be used on another event. There is insurance, labour transport and presumably some profit in the quotation you will have received.
By contrast consider a firework company. When the crew go home they will be carrying empty tubes and cardboard boxes which were used to transport the fireworks to the site. Assuming the company wasn’t making an obscene profit to start with any discount will come from the allocation of fireworks to the project.
You can reduce what you spend by reducing the duration but the fixed costs remain the same for most small to middle sized displays.
“Someone I know has a mate who can do it cheaply”
Second blog cliché – “if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t true”
The firework display industry is very competitive with a wide spectrum of small to medium sized companies who will quote widely differing prices from £1,000 per minute to £500 for 15 a minute display.
Based on our collective experience of having fired over 1000 displays between us we feel the starting budget for a professional display is in the region of £1500 inc VAT.
Recommendations are a good guide to choosing a firework company, as are the displays a company has been responsible for but most of all you should look to engage directly with the people you are entrusting with your money. Do they have an address, a telephone number and do they respond to your enquiry in a timely manner? Did they visit your site and can they show you examples of the paperwork and put you in touch with current clients for references?
Advice is free and readily offered
We love what we do for a living and we care about our industry. If you want advice on any aspect of firework displays then please feel free to contact us. Google will tell you where your nearest all year round stockist is faster than we will, but if your question relates to finding out if your venue is suitable for fireworks or you want to know where to start then please drop us an email or give us a call.
If we don’t think your site is suitable we will tell you and if we cannot help with a particular project we will try to put you in touch with someone who can.