Does Le Maitre run training courses
No, currently Le Maitre does not run a pyrotechnics course. We recommend the following courses:
- The Association of Stage Pyrotechnics.
The ASP is a UK administered organisation for people working with stage pyrotechnics.
Website at http://www.stage-pyro.org.uk
- Backstage Academy
A training centre of excellence for the creative, performance and live event production industry, leading the way for skills development within this sector.
It delivers high quality, relevant and practical training in all manner of backstage skills. Based at the famous LS-Live rehearsal studio, courses take place both in its 17,500 sq ft studio and also off-site for group bookings.
Its Stage Pyrotechnics course is approved by the Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians and is tutored by industry veteran Lincoln Parkhouse, of JustFX.
To obtain a discount off any course you attend, simply quote: LEM100501.
Will pyrotrechnics set off smoke alarms?
Yes. Some venues have the ability to set their fire alarm to performance mode. This isolates the smoke detectors in the performance area, but leaves the rest of the building protected. If the fire alarm does not have a performance mode, isolating the smoke detectors in the building can usually be done for the duration of the performance so long as the break glass call points are still active and that the venue staff are aware that the smoke detectors have been isolated.
THE FIRE ALARM MUST NEVER BE SWITCHED OFF.
You should always check with the venue to determine their procedures for isolating the fire alarm
Do local Councils need to be told that I will be using pyrotechnics?
Probably. If the venue has a Public Entertainment License (PEL) there will probably be a condition that you must inform the Local Authority of your intention to use pyrotechnics. The venue will be able to tell you who you should contact at the Council. Sometimes they will contact them on your behalf. The Council will usually make a visit to the venue to meet you and assess that you are complying with safety standards. They usually also request a demonstration of one of each effect - so make sure you have a spare! If the venue is on private land and does not have a PEL or an agreement with the council, this may be considered a private event and therefore there is usually no Council involvement. Please also note that if guests pay to attend your event, you may need a temporary PEL, therefore you should inform them of your intention to use pyrotechnics. Most local authorities require 2 weeks' notice to be able to arrange a visit and compile any paperwork. When contacting the Council, try and give them as much clear and concise information as possible, including: name of effects, quantity of effects, location of effects (a stage layout with positions marked), the manufacturer details and any MSDS sheets and, if possible, a preliminary risk assessment. Also, don't forget the date of the load in and venue address.
What does 1.4G and 1.4S mean?
These warning diamonds relate to shipping and now also have relevance to storage. The 1 means class 1 (explosives) the 4 is the hazard type, 4 means "Substances and articles that present no significant hazard". The S and G are the compatibility groups. The definitions are: G- A substance which is an explosive substance because it is designed to produce an effect by heat, light, sound, gas or smoke or a combination of these as a result of not-detonative self-sustaining exothermic chemical reactions or an article containing such a substance or an article containing both a substance which is explosive because it is capable by chemical reaction in itself of producing gas at such a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as could cause damage to surroundings and an illuminating, incendiary, lachrymatory or smoke-producing substance. S- Substance or article so packed or designed that any hazardous effects arising from accidental functioning are confined within the package unless the package has been degraded by fire, in which case all blast or projection effects are limited to the extent that they do not significantly hinder or prohibit fire-fighting or other emergency response efforts in the immediate vicinity of the package.
Is it best to wire pyrotechnics in series or parallel and what is the difference?
A.A full description of wiring pyrotechnics can be found at http://www.lemaitreltd.com/products/pdfdocs/WiringPyrotechnics.pdf. You will need Adobe Reader to view the document.
I want a specific product made that you do not offer - can you help?
Yes, we have a dedicated team of pyrotechnic research professionals based at our Peterborough factory who will be able build an effect to your specifications. Please note however that this process can be a lengthy one and we will only be able to proceed if the project is financially viable.
I have been asked for a risk assessment - can you help?
Le Maitre cannot provide blank or generic Risk Assessment forms for legal reasons. However we can offer a chargeable service to visit your venue and produce a Risk Assessment for your event. If you would like further information about this, please email: Events@lemaitreltd.com or call +44 (0)20 86462222 and ask for Events.
Can I use a controller I built myself?
You should not use a home made controller unless it has been approved by us. There are many safety features built into our controllers to prevent accidental ignition. If you have an accident when using a home made firing system, the HSE will probably prosecute you. A home made firing system will not pass a local authority inspection.
Do I need a license to store pyrotechnics?
Possibly. You should check with your local trading standards department. The information you will need is the hazard type (Usually 4), the Net Explosive Quantity (this can be found on the side of the shipping box as NEQ or NEC) of the pyrotechnics you will be storing. You may also need to know the UN Numbers for pyrotechnics; these are 0432 for 1.4s and 0431 for 1.4g. The laws regarding the storage of explosives changed in 2005, you should check the new MSER regulations to ensure you comply. Below is a brief "in a nutshell" version of how MSER affects pyrotechnic users.
•You can store up to 5kg of Explosives from Hazard Type 4 without a license.
•You can store up to 100kg of Hazard Type 3/4 for less than 3 days.
•Pyrotechnics should no longer be stored in locked metal boxes or cabinets, instead they should remain in the outer shipping box as this box has been approved to United Nations standards
Please note that these weights only apply to the explosive content and not the gross weight. Explosive weights can be found on the SDS Sheets or on the brown delivery box (NEC or NEQ mark).
How do I dispose of old pyrotechnics?
For small amounts of pyro (except Plastic maroons and Microdets) you have 2 options: 1. You can attempt to fire the device outside at a safe distance. 2. You can immerse the device in a bucket of water for 24 hours. You should pierce any paper tops so that the water can easily permeate the device. If you have a large amount of old pyro, we operate a free disposal service. Please call 020 8646 2222 to arrange a pickup. If you have Plastic Maroons and Microdets to dispose of, you should first attempt to fire them in a bomb tank outside at a safe distance. If this is not possible, they will have to be sent back to us for disposal. You will need the correct box and labels and use a courier service that will accept 1.4G shipments. Please contact us for details. We can arrange a pickup service, but we may have to make a charge for this service. Alternatively you can bring any old pyrotechnics to either our London factory or our Peterborough factory for disposal.
Where can I find the safety distances for your products?
We stopped giving our products safety distances back in 2000. There were lots of reasons for us doing this. The main reason was that many operators are using pyro at angles and sometimes even upside down. If we were to give a safety distance and someone got hurt, we could be liable. Instead of issuing safety distances, we now recommend that you fire the effect in controlled conditions outside to familiarise yourself with the effect. You can then implement any safety distances yourself and document them in your risk assessment.
Do I need a license to buy and operate pyrotechnics?
No, but it is an offence to supply pyrotechnics to anyone under 18 years.
Will mobile phones or radios set off pyrotechnics?
No, there is not enough RF power in a hand-held radio device to induce enough current to blow an igniter bridgewire. We recommend that you keep all electrical devices away from pyrotechnics when they are being hand-held or loaded.
Will static electricity set off pyrotechnics?
There is a possibility that static electricity could ignite pyrotechnic compositions. Static discharge could cause the igniter to fire if the static discharge is directly across the fuse head of the igniter. A spark from body to ground through a composition could theoretically ignite pyrotechnic compositions. Common sense should be used: grounding yourself by touching a screw on a plug socket before handling pyrotechnics and avoiding wearing lots of synthetic clothing would minimize the risk of static problems.
An effect I fired went wrong, what shall I do?
Thankfully instances of effects malfunctioning are extremely rare. However we are aware that it is possible. We have a procedure so that we are made aware of any potential problems and we can then make the situation right. First, please request a product report form, fill it in with as much information as possible and make sure you include the batch number. Please send the form to the person stated on the form. Ensuring that you receive a quality product is extremely important to us. We rely on end-user feedback to maintain the exceptionally good reputation our products have gained over the past 30 years.