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Firework fails – how to avoid a display disaster


We all want our fireworks displays to go off without a hitch, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. Here are four of the most memorable firework fails and crucially – how to avoid them yourself:

1. A 30-second fireworks explosion in San Diego

One of the most memorable fireworks fails, which is well documented online, happened in the U.S. city of San Diego on 4th July 2012. Onlookers gathered expecting a professional fireworks display, but were left disappointed and not a little dazzled when all the fireworks seemed to go off at once. In a blindingly bright disaster, every single firework went off within the space of 30 seconds. None could be clearly distinguished, the noise and smoke was ridiculous, and organisers admitted wasting their money on fireworks no one could see. To avoid this happening to you, plan and time your display properly and make sure you get in a professional to manage the display.

2. Fireworks set a house on fire in Los Angeles

A potentially lethal firework fail in 2012, in the U.S. city of Los Angeles, happened when a Roman Candle firework went off at the wrong angle and hit a palm tree. The tree caught fire, which eventually ended up setting fire to a neighbour’s house. No one was hurt, but the house – judging from the videos of the massive blaze that found their way online – suffered major damage. This disaster could have been prevented had organisers situated their firing zone far away from buildings (and trees), as well as making sure they knew how to properly and safely launch their fireworks.

3. Famous footballer destroys bathroom with Halloween prank

Flamboyant Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli made the headlines yet again in 2011, when he managed to completely destroy his bathroom by setting off fireworks indoors. A substantial fire was started at the house and the footballer had to move out, after coughing up for a repair bill of £400,000. The way to avoid this firework fail is obvious – use your common sense and never set fireworks off indoors. Balotelli was lucky in this instance that no one was hurt.

4. Manchester is 10 minutes late for the New Year’s countdown.

The organisers of the New Year’s fireworks display in 2014 were left red-faced after they were 10 minutes late setting off their first firework. While cities up and down the country marked the stroke of midnight with spectacular fireworks displays, Manchester had to wait while a tram exited the safety zone, and the fireworks eventually started at 12.10am – somewhat killing the excitement for onlookers! It shows that timing is everything when it comes to fireworks, but at least you won’t have any trams spoiling your display (hopefully!)
Many of these fireworks fails are quite funny, but it’s important to remember that display disasters can be very dangerous. Keep everyone safe and have a great display by putting safety first, buying only good quality fireworks and calling in the experts if you aren’t 100% sure what you’re doing.

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