How to Plan a Perfect Fireworks Show

Who doesn’t love a fireworks display? Thanks to the wide range of consumer fireworks that are available for sale in most states, you don’t even have to wait for a public display to enjoy some stunning pyrotechnics. As long as you have enough space at home, you can host a beautiful display in your own backyard.

The most important thing to remember when you’re planning a home fireworks show is safety. Fireworks can be very dangerous – in 2021 alone, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission found that about 11,500 people were injured by fireworks and nine people were killed in fireworks accidents. To protect yourself and your family from injuries, it’s important to only set off fireworks if you have plenty of space for them. You should also make sure all of your fireworks are firmly anchored to a fireworks rack so they can’t fall over and shoot their contents at the crowd instead of the sky. 

Build Racks for Your Fireworks

You can use scraps of wood to build racks for your fireworks, or you can buy premade fireworks racks online. You can build a mortar rack out of one-by-twos. If you have a variety of fireworks that you want to set off, you can screw them into a long, narrow piece of plywood. A piece about two feet long by eight feet wide should provide plenty of space for a lot of fireworks. Use a power drill to screw the fireworks to the board, by driving the screws through the clay plug in the bottom of the firework tube or through the plastic base, if there is one. Place them in firing order. You can attach some scraps of two-by-fours to the bottom of the plywood to make it easier to pick up and carry, especially if you’re planning to reuse the same fireworks rack next year. Using a fireworks rack is important, because it keeps your fireworks upright, and can protect you and your audience from burns and other injuries that might occur if a firework falls over and discharges along the ground.

Dress Appropriately to Prevent Injuries

When you’re setting off fireworks, you need to dress appropriately to protect yourself from burns and other fireworks injuries. Wear 100 percent cotton clothes, because synthetic fabrics will melt into your skin if sparks land on them. Choose an outfit with long sleeves and long pants. Wear socks and boots, or closed-toe sneakers if you don’t have boots. Put on a hat with a brim to protect your head and neck. Wear safety goggles and construction gloves to protect your eyes and hands. 

Keep Your Audience at a Safe Distance

To figure out how far away from the firing line your audience needs to stand, determine how high your highest aerial firework soars, and then increase that distance by half as much again. If your highest aerial firework ascends to a height of 160 feet, for example, you will need to keep your audience 240 feet in front of the firing line.

Allow for a Large Fallout Zone

Fireworks tend to drop sparks and hot debris over a wide area — a firework’s break can be 30 feet wide or more. Make sure you have a large enough fallout zone to accommodate your largest-breaking fireworks. The fallout zone should be clear of structures, power lines, trees, bushes, brush piles, and other things of a flammable nature. 

Put Safety Equipment Nearby Before the Show

When a fireworks accident happens, you need to be ready to act fast. Your safety equipment should include something to put out fires – like a fire extinguisher or a garden hose – and first aid treatments for burns and other injuries. Put them in a convenient place before the show so you can keep them close at hand. The last thing you need is to be fumbling around in the dark while a fire picks up steam.

Assemble a Firey Tableau

Of course, you’ll want your home fireworks display to look nice, and that means you’ll need to know the difference between common fireworks effects. If you keep in mind how effects like peonies, palm trees, brocades, dahlias, fishes, peonies, and chrysanthemums look, you can set off different fireworks with different effects at the same time to create a dynamic tableau in the sky.

Do you love fireworks? Maybe it’s time to start hosting your own home fireworks displays. With a little planning, you can create a stunning fireworks display resplendent with shining lights and flashing colors.


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