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New Code Of Practice For Firework Displays


31 July 2008

New Code Of Practice For Firework Displays

Professional firework displays will now be covered by a new Code of Practice which aims to improve operator and public safety at displays, ERMA New Zealand announced today.

General Manager Hazardous Substances Andrea Eng said the new Outdoor Pyrotechnic Display Code of Practice is based on the Queensland equivalent with some changes for New Zealand conditions and legislation. The Queensland code of practice is widely regarded as one of the best of its type. The ERMA code was developed in conjunction with industry.

"We promised this code of practice following the last Guy Fawkes season when there were several injuries to people attending professional displays. The new code aims to improve safety for people operating or watching public events," Ms Eng said.

The purpose of the code is to ensure the safe handling of pyrotechnics and the safe and practical management of outdoor pyrotechnic displays. It is designed to assist people involved in all aspects of outdoor displays to understand their obligations under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms regulations.

The code provides for Approved Handlers - the people approved to be in charge of a pyrotechnic display - to be certified in accordance with the skills and knowledge required for the type of display and the types of fireworks being used. For example, small ground level displays and the large aerial displays seen in some cities at Guy Fawkes and New Year require different levels of technical expertise.

The code recognises that the field of pyrotechnics is a rapidly developing one and that the size and sophistication of displays continues to grow, as do audience expectations. The code advocates a risk management approach with an emphasis on taking all practicable steps to minimise risk.

The code can be found on the ERMA website at:



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