Pyrotechnics Guidelines

DEFINITION

Pyrotechnics refers to the art, craft and science of fireworks, which includes any explosives or projectiles.

Fireworks may only be used at Burning Man in performance and art installations on the open playa. Fireworks used in these projects are limited to consumer grade Class C. For reasons of safety and event stipulations we do not allow the use of Display Grade 1.3g Fireworks. Fireworks that are classified as consumer grade are known as Class C or UN 1.4g or UN0336. This includes fountains (also known as gerbs), sparklers, night displays or cakes.

All pyrotechnic materials must be approved in advance by the Fire Art Safety Team (FAST). Artists must submit a description name and product number of the devices they plan to use, to ensure they do not bring devices that cannot be approved.

No pyro made by anyone other than a licensed manufacturer of consumer grade pyrotechnics will be permitted on site. This is due to the unknown reliability, and uncertainty of the consistency in the product, which could prove harmful to the participants of the event.

Some things to keep in mind as you plan for your display:

Fireworks Debris

Burning Man encourages artists to consider using fireworks that create the least amount of debris. For instance, firecrackers create a lot of debris, but magic whip (sometimes referred to as firecracker rope) creates very little debris. Multi-shot devices or cakes are filled with small cardboard discs that are projected and spread for great distances. When choosing product for display, choose devices with the least amount of wrapping, inserts, foils and other potential debris. Post-display, all the fallout area must be promptly swept for debris before it is trampled into the playa surface or is blown away by the wind. After the site has been cleaned, the artist is required to be checked out by ARTery staff.

Safe Clearance and Perimeter

Fire is an awesome force and we all want to get as close as possible for a good view and to feel its warmth, but we must always think first about the protection and safety of the citizens of Black Rock City. For larger burns and pyrotechnic displays, a safety perimeter and clearance from other art or flammables is required. If you are planning a burn or a pyrotechnic display please read these guidelines for safety perimeters here.

Storage

All pyrotechnic materials must be securely stored in accordance with NFPA 1124 guidelines.

All Pyrotechnic materials should be secured in fire-resistant, theft-resistant, weather-resistant Ready Boxes, placed at least 25 feet from any ignition source, complying with the following provisions:

All pyrotechnic materials should be secured in fire-resistant, theft-resistant, weather-resistant Ready Boxes, placed at least 25 feet from any ignition source, complying with the following provisions:

  • Ready Box / Magazine shall be equipped with a padlock.
  • If Ready Box / Magazine is to be constructed of wood it is required to have sides, bottoms, and covers or doors of four inch (101.6mm) thick hardwood, well-braced at the corners. They shall be covered with sheet metal of not less than 26 gauge. Nails exposed to the interior of the magazine shall be countersunk.
  • Pyrotechnic containers should be labeled with your name, the material, and quantity of material in the containers.

Questions

Here are email addresses to direct questions concerning:

Art installations in general: installations@burningman.com
Open Fire: fire-art@burningman.com
Flame Effects: flame-effects@burningman.com
Pyrotechnics: pyro@burningman.com

Register Your Project

Visit our Art Installation Questionnaire page to register your project.