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New Year's Eve fireworks: more beautiful, more colourful, greater than ever (BAM-Press Release No. 14/2009)17.12.2009 - (idw) Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
Trends, safety and Europe
Fireworks are also subject to fashion trends: they become more beautiful, more colourful, filled with more black powder and glitter effect - they should be for everyone. Multi-effect clusters are even more advanced and continue to increase making the dreams of pyrotechnical hobbyists come true: light the blue touchpaper and retire to watch and enjoy the fireworks for several minutes. The new European Directive 2007/23/EG makes this possible: firework batteries with up to 500 grams of black powder including glitter effects are now permitted to be sold. This is 300 grams more than allowed by the old German Explosives Act which is no longer valid.
The new European Directive 2007/23/EG concerning placement of pyrotechnical articles on the market, including of course New Year's Eve fireworks, came into force in 2007. This directive, drafted under the aegis of BAM, is supposed to reduce trade barriers and, in addition, harmonise the quality and safety of pyrotechnical articles in Europe. Since 1 October 2009 this guideline has been implemented in Germany. In future only one "approval" will be necessary for Europe.
During the transition period up to 2017 both the new and old approval markings are valid side by side.
An old approval marking may for example read: BAM - P II - 2526.
A new approval marking may look like this:
The first line contains the registration number. The first four figures give the identification number of the notified body which has performed the test: 0589 stands for BAM. In the next line there is an identification number, "BAM-F2-0001" for example. Products sold in Germany must have an identification number including this reference to BAM. The importation and use of fireworks without this mark or with falsified approval is still prohibited.
Fireworks are not toys because they contain explosive substances and can give rise to dangerous consequences. Therefore they must be tested and approved for their handling safety and quality level.
The BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing has tested 113 new fireworks for their safety this year. Amendments to 32 known fireworks were also tested. 33 fireworks were approved, 76 were rejected and 1 approval was recalled. Thus about 67 % were refused.
Enquiries about currently offered goods and
the exact production figures can be made at
Verband der Pyrotechnischen Industrie
(Association of the Pyrotechnical Industry)
An der Pönt 48
Phone: +49-2102-18 62 00
Working Group Pyrotechnics
Division II.3 Explosives
Phone: +49 30 8104-1234
Internet: List of certified fireworks (status: 1 Dec. 2009)
Class I: www.bam.de/p1.htm
Class II: www.bam.de/p2.htm
Tests of New Year's Eve Fireworks by BAM
with photos to download:
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