Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience Policy


The objective of this policy is to provide guidelines and procedures by which pyrotechnics may be safely displayed and/or discharged before a proximate audience upon the University of Florida campus.


Organizations, groups, and individuals sponsoring fire safety for pyrotechnics before a proximate audience shall comply with rules, regulations and procedures as outlined in this policy, as well as all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations. Other types of fireworks not complying with this policy are expressly prohibited upon the University of Florida campus, except those complying with the University of Florida Policy on the public outdoor display of fireworks.


The following University requirements for the fire safety for pyrotechnics before a proximate audience are drawn from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Standard for the Use of Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience (ANSI/NFPA 1126, 2006 Edition) and firsthand knowledge of existing on-site physical conditions. The storage and transportation of fireworks shall comply with NFPA 1124 Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, and Storage of Fireworks, 2006 Edition and is not redefined by this policy.


Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) shall review and approve the location of the proposed site to discharge pyrotechnics before a proximate audience.

EH&S shall provide supervision and guidance to fireworks operator prior to setting up the display, during discharge of the fireworks and after discharge to assist in determination that the launch area is safe.

EH&S shall determine if attendance at the venue is necessary during the demonstration arranged by department sponsor.  If it is determined that attendance at the display is necessary the sponsoring department shall provide “ALL AREA ACCESS” passes for use by EH&S.  The number will be determined prior to the event.

EH&S shall advise the State Fire Marshal as appropriate of all proposed pyrotechnic displays before a proximate audience.

EH&S has authority to suspend or terminate pyrotechnic displays on the University of Florida campus at any time upon their own discretion.

University of Florida Police Department

The University of Florida Police Department (UPD) has authority to suspend or terminate pyrotechnic displays on the University of Florida campus at any time upon their own discretion and/or upon the advice of the University’s Division of Environmental Health and Safety, the producer of the event, or a Gainesville Fire Rescue official.

Fireworks Company/Operator

The pyrotechnic company/operator shall supply the following: pyrotechnic, tools and equipment for shipping and receiving, safety on-site storage, and the necessary number of qualified personnel needed to set up, fire the display and thoroughly clear the entire area of pyrotechnic debris at the conclusion of the event.

Public display operators shall be licensed or approved in accordance with any and all applicable state, county, or municipal laws. The pyrotechnic operator shall supply appropriate numbers and sizes of fire extinguishers. A Florida licensed fire equipment dealer shall tag the fire extinguishers.

The pyrotechnic display contractor shall be required to conduct an on-site safety assessment, or determine same from previous site experience, prior to submitting a bid for a show.

An operator positioned to have the display within his sight shall ignite pyrotechnic displays. Remote ignition systems not under direct control of the on-site operator will not be permitted. Details of any agreement relating to a variance to this item shall be decided on in conjunction with representatives of all entities involved in the approval of special events at the University of Florida.

The pyrotechnic display contractor shall work within the limits specified in his approved bid submission. Electrical firing units shall be used for all displays and shall be manufactured for that purpose. Homemade electrical firing units are not permitted.

All displays shall be set up employing methods for interrupting firing in case an unforeseen danger becomes evident.

Organizations, Groups and Individuals

Organizations, groups and individuals sponsoring pyrotechnic displays of fireworks shall do the following:

Except for displays at Phillips Performing Arts Center and the O’Connell Center, producer/sponsor of a pyrotechnic display to submit for approval a SPECIAL EVENTS FORM at least 15 days prior to any agreement is reached or contract signed for such events on the University of Florida campus. The form may be obtained at the Student Activities Center in the Reitz Union, room 300. Call (352) 392-1671 for information. 

Pyrotechnic displays at the Phillips Performing Arts Center and the O’Connell Center shall obtain written permission from EH&S as soon as possible after contracts are signed for the pyrotechnic displays within performances conducted at their venue.

EH&S will determine if a City of Gainesville Special Event Permit is required.  If required these applications shall be processed at least 15 days in advance of the event. Contact Gainesville Fire Rescue at (352) 334-5065 to obtain a permit.

Pyrotechnic displays are not permitted within the University Auditorium. 

The following requirements must be included within all contracts:

The rules and regulations adopted by the University of Florida regarding pyrotechnic displays shall be included in any contract entered into by the producer and/or sponsoring organization of each pyrotechnic display on the University of Florida campus. This contract shall stipulate that the firms/individuals providing pyrotechnic displays meet all UF requirements plus applicable state, county and city laws or safety standards pertaining to licensure and permits, certifications of competency and display methods.

The sponsor of the pyrotechnics event or the contractor shall furnish a certificate of liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the State of Florida, Florida Board of Education, Florida Board of Governors, University of Florida Board of Trustees and the University of Florida as additional insured’s.


Pre-show review: A walk through and representative demonstration shall be approved before the permit is approved.

Fire alarms shall be disabled if the smoke from the pyrotechnics would cause false alarms in the fire alarm system.

The fire alarm system shall be returned to normal as soon as the threat of false alarms is passed.

A fire watch is required while the fire alarms are disabled.

Fire extinguishers shall be provided:

1.2 each 10#ABC

2.2 2-1/2 Gallon Pressurized water

3.Extinguishers shall have current inspections and tags. The extinguishers must be tagged by licesnsed Florida Fire Equipment Dealer.

4.Extinguishers must be in addition to building extinguishers

All devices shall be securely mounted. Devices shall be mounted such that fallout from the devices does not endanger human life or damages property.

All equipment shall be specifically constructed for the purpose in which it is to be used.

The pyrotechnic operator shall prevent unauthorized entry into the area after the effects have been loaded.

Comets and mines shall be placed so that the fallout does not reach the audience.

All materials shall be specifically manufactured and marked for indoor use by the manufacturer.

Firing of devices shall only be permitted when the device is in clear view of the pyrotechnic operator.

While the authority having jurisdiction has the authority to stop the firing of pyrotechnic devices, the ultimate responsibility for firing shall be that of the pyrotechnic operator.

13.Separation distances from the audience:

1.15 feet or twice the fallout radius of the device, whichever is greater

2.Concussion mortars and concussion effects shall be 25 feet.

3.No glowing or flaming particles within 10 feet.

No pyrotechnics shall be left unattended unless in a secured approved location.

It is the responsibility of pyrotechnic operator to verify distances from the audience of each device prior to the beginning of the show.

Smoke from the devices shall not obscure exit signs and paths of egress.

The pyrotechnic operator shall verify that all devices were fired during the show. Any devices found to not have fired shall be disposed of properly.

Issued March 2012