Requirements to conduct an approved fireworks display or special effects

This bulletin outlines the requirements needed to conduct a fireworks display or special effects in the Northern Territory.

In accordance with the Dangerous Goods Regulations 2011, NT WorkSafe will not issue a permit unless satisfied that:

a)  The fireworks display will be organised and conducted with due regard to the safety of persons and property; and

b)  The approval of the Director of the Fire and Rescue Service, the Commissioner of Police and, where applicable, the council of the area which it is proposed the fireworks display take place, has been obtained.

Notice of displays

NT WorkSafe requires a ‘Notice of Display’ to be advertised in the local paper prior to the event, and in some locations, written notification in the form of a letter box drop be given to the residents of the surrounding area.

Licensing and other requirements

To conduct a fireworks display, the proposed operator must hold a Northern Territory Shotfirer’s Licence endorsed with the class “to conduct firework display” or “special effects”.  The license ensures that the person conducting the display has sufficient experience and/or training.  The exception to this is for Territory Day celebrations when the public is allowed to purchase and use approved shopgoods fireworks without permits.

In accordance with the Australian Standard section, all persons appointed to assist must:

  • be a minimum of 16 years of age and properly supervised;
  • physically capable of carrying out the tasks required to be performed at the time of display;
  • adequately trained in the use of pyrotechnic devices, fire and emergency procedures, use of protective equipment, handling of misfires, crowd control; and
  • have an adequate understanding of the hazards, safety rules and instructions displayed in the English language. A minimum of two people, one of whom maybe the fireworks operator, must constantly be on duty during the discharging of the fireworks. Protective non-flammable clothing, protective hats, ear plugs or muffs and safety glasses should be worn. Each assistant should know their specific duties and be familiar with the relevant manufacturer’s instructions well in advance. People assigned to crowd control must have no other duties. At least one 20 litre container of water must be available at each point of launch together with at least one 9 litre water fire-extinguisher.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Please note that any fireworks operated within 3nm (approximately 5.55 kms) of an aerodrome requires notification to CASA two working days before the event, except if the fireworks are set off on a domestic property by someone who lives there in accordance with Territory laws during Territory Day. Phone 8924 2358 (manned 24 hours) or 136 773 or visit the website www.casa.gov.au.

Public safety

The safety of the public must be the prime consideration at all times. There may be times when the fireworks operator considers it unsafe to commence or continue the display because of the location, the prevailing wind condition or because control over the spectators has been lost. In such circumstances, the supervisor must stop the display until the situation has been corrected. In the event of an accident involving negligence, the fireworks permit holder and the fireworks operator could be held responsible. Public liability insurance shall be current and in accordance with the Australian Standard.

Warnings

Unless barricades and security personnel effectively prevent access, the public should be instructed by the operator not to enter the display site, by the use of announcements over a public address system or obvious notices.

Protection of the site

Once the fireworks have been taken to the site, they must not be left unattended or unprotected. Barriers must be set up at a safe distance from the place where the fireworks are to be ignited and only people involved in the display are allowed inside those barriers.

Site suitability and distances

The fireworks included in any display must be tailored to the available space. In a small park, for example, aerial shell must not be included unless it can be guaranteed that the area under the trajectory of the shell, and where debris may fall will be free of people and vulnerable points.

Spectators must be at least the distance specified below from the point of launch. A sample of a typical fireworks display site area can be found on the next page of this bulletin.

Ground effects 

Fountain revolving fountains and flares40 Metres
Mine bags, multi-shot box items, roman candles, mines and comets45 Metres

Aerial shells

Up to and including 3 inch shells (75mm)75 Metres
4 inch shells (100 mm)100 Metres
5 inch shells (125 mm)125 Metres
6 inch shells (150 mm)150 Metres
7 inch shells (175 mm)180 Metres
8 inch shells (200 mm)210 Metres
10 inch shells (250 mm)255 Metres
12 inch shells (300 mm)300 Metres

Typical fireworks display site

Contact us

For further information please contact us on 1800 019 115, via email at ntworksafe@nt.gov.au or go to the NT WorkSafe website at www.worksafe.nt.gov.au.