The Debris Hazard from Fireworks Held in Steel ISO Containers

Roy Merrifield and Peter Allan Moreton

Abstract: A number of serious accidents in European Union countries involving explosions of fireworks stored in steel ISO freight containers has shown that the hazards associated with bulk-stored fireworks might be greater than previously thought. To address this problem an EU research programme was initiated, part of which involved field trials with fireworks packed in ISO freight containers. In a few of these trials a mass explosion effect was observed. This prompted a number of questions, including whether the current quantity-distances applying to fireworks storage under such conditions offer adequate protection to the public. We consider this issue in the current paper by looking at the debris hazard from just one of the mass exploding trials, and show that for that particular firework the inhabited building distance specified in MSER is more than adequate to ensure that members of the public are not exposed to unacceptably high risks.

Keywords: Explosives, quantity-safety distances, fireworks, storage, risks

Ref: JPyro, Issue 27, 2008, pp14-22

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