24 Sept, 2021
10 minutes

How to Choose the Right Garden Fireworks

If you’ve decided to forgo the crowds, mud, and walking for 20 minutes bursting for the loo at the end of Firework Night by putting on your own firework display, you’re not alone.

Setting up a private garden firework show has many benefits: you can almost guarantee you’ll get a seat (and it’ll be dry!), you have drinks and snacks available without having to stand in a queue, and there’s no parking fiasco involved. If you’re here because you’ve decided to put on your own firework display we can help you out with all the fundamentals you need to know.

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Step 1: Determining the size of your garden

Getting to know how much distance you can work with is the first step in preparing your firework display. This will tell you which category of fireworks you can use in your garden. Most gardens in the UK will be suitable for Category 2 fireworks. These are sometimes called ‘garden fireworks’, because of their suitability for most gardens.

To find out which fireworks you can set off in your garden you need to know the maximum distance you can put between your firework launch site and all of the people watching.

Start by selecting a spot in the garden that is far away from the house. You also need to check there are no overhanging trees or other buildings nearby that could come into the firing line of your fireworks. You’ll also need to make sure that you select a spot that can be seen from a distance in your garden in a straight line. For example, you could choose a firing spot at the bottom of your garden, but if there’s a couple of large bushes between that spot and the top of your garden where your guests will be, their view might be affected.

More importantly, you, as the firer, need to know that you have a clear path to retreat to the minimum safe distance once you’ve lit a firework. Any obstacles in the way could make this more complicated and put you in danger.

Once you have selected your launch site, measure the maximum distance to where your audience can comfortably stand or sit and watch the display. Now you will have the maximum viewing distance that will help you determine which fireworks you can buy.

Step 2: Selecting your fireworks

Fireworks are split into different firework categories to help people stay safe when using them. Use your maximum viewing distance to determine which fireworks you can choose.

Category 1

Category 1 fireworks are the smallest and least powerful. These are fireworks that you can hold in your hand or even use indoors if the packaging says so. Sparklers are category 1 fireworks as are ice fountains that can be stuck into cakes for birthday parties. If the maximum distance in your garden is less than eight metres, stock up on category 1 fireworks and have a mini firework party.

If you don’t have a garden at all but do have a balcony, category 1 fireworks are the way to go too. Grab some sparklers for your balcony and have an extra small fireworks show.

8-Metre F2 Fireworks

Category 2, or F2 fireworks are those that have a minimum safe viewing distance of up to 15 metres (but some F2 fireworks have a safe viewing distance of eight metres). These are perfect for small garden fireworks displays. If 8-metre F2 fireworks suit your garden, here are some of our favourites:

Tranquil Firework Barrage

Tranquil is just what its name suggests: a low-noise, gentle and graceful firework. If you have a small garden and are worried about bothering neighbours, but want to enjoy fireworks nonetheless, Tranquil is a great starter firework. Tranquil shoots 16 comet tails into the air, each finishing on a coloured star.

Serene Firework Collection

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Serene takes the stress out of planning a firework display. This collection features 11 8-metre fireworks giving you all sorts of different effects for a complete firework experience. In this pack, you’ll get seven fountain fireworks, three Roman candles and a Catherine wheel. All of these fireworks shoot straight shots meaning they will go directly up into the air, so if you have a narrow garden you don’t need to worry about potential fire hazards quite as much.

White Blinker

This neat little firework is a traditional Bengal strobing flare and it will emit flashing pulsing light. These fireworks are great for building up tension to a climactic firework in the middle of your display, or for grabbing everyone’s attention and letting them know the show is about to begin.

15-Metre F2 Fireworks

Most Category 2 fireworks have a minimum safe viewing distance of 15 metres. If the maximum distance in your garden is 15 metres you can shop for 15-metre fireworks. You could also incorporate some 8-metre and Category 1 fireworks too.

Most of the fireworks in our F2 Garden Fireworks category will be 15-metre fireworks. We have everything from rockets to smoke grenades, there’s not much we don’t offer at a 15-metre safe firing distance so you can still enjoy a varied display of different colours and sounds. Here are some of our best-selling 15-metre fireworks:

Afterglow Premium Selection Box

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Get Fireworks Night sorted in one go with this fantastic firework selection. We love Afterglow because it includes a firework for everyone. It’ll give you every fizz, whoosh, bang, and crackle you’ve been excited for. In this pack, you’ll get rockets, fountains, Roman Candles, Catherine wheels, sparklers, and a pack of 4 portfires that make lighting fireworks easy and safer. With 298 shots in all, this is a perfect pack to create a stunning display.

Kasjeopeja Firework Cake

For those who want a smaller display, or want to make one of their own with individual fireworks, include at least one firework cake, or barrage. You only need to light a cake or barrage once for multiple shots to be launched. Kasjeopeja is a great 15-metre firework that fires classing shots into the sky that burst with rich orange tails and coloured tips.

Shockwave Mine Firework

If you want to end on a high note, consider using a mine firework. These fireworks throw up multiple shots at once that produce a massive explosive effect, a dramatic end to your firework display. We like Shockwave which produces a volley of bursts at different heights which shower the night in metallic gold light.

Step 3: Gather your equipment

Preparation is key when you’re planning a firework display. You’ll want to have everything ready before the big night. That means setting up firing stations beforehand and making sure you have a safety backup plan if anything goes wrong. Your fireworks will come with instructions on how to set them up and fire them but you should also go through this checklist to make sure you’re covered and ready to go:

Garden Firework Set-Up Checklist

  • Rockets: some rockets come with equipment to get them set up in your garden. If not your rocket can be fastened to a sturdy stick or pike in the ground ready to be lit. Depending on your display, you might want two or three pikes that you can fix rockets to and launch at the same time. Make sure that you can reach all of them quickly and then retreat to a safe distance after lighting.
  • Roman candles: a good way to secure roman candles in an upright position for launching is to half-bury a piece of piping into the ground that the firework can be stood up in. Make sure there is room for the fuse to come out of the pipe to be lit, you might even want to cut away a section of the pipe so the fuse can poke out making it easier to light.
  • Catherine wheels: these fireworks need to be fixed to a post in the ground, and should never be nailed to a tree or building like a shed. If the firework backfires you could end up with the whole shed going up in flames. Drive a post into the ground well away from other structures and nail your Catherine wheel to it. Make sure you nail the Catherine wheel at a height you can reach easily to light. If you have to climb up a ladder to light the firework you could put yourself in danger.
  • Sparklers: provide your guests with a couple of buckets of sand or water so that used sparklers can be discarded in them. This ensures that sparklers will not re-ignite, and deters any young children from picking up still-hot sticks.
  • Backfiring fireworks: we work hard to only bring the best fireworks from experienced and trusted manufacturers to the market. But there’s always the possibility of a firework not working. If this happens you should never approach the firework to check on it. The best thing to do is dowse the firework in water to make sure all of the explosive material is deactivated. Then you can safely remove the firework.
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