We use the NFPA 1123 as a safety standard code for the Outdoor Display of Fireworks. Most states and insurance companies have adopted these guidelines. The chart below compares the size of the shell (diameter) to the minimum radius of the display circle (see below). The radius is measured from the center of the display circle to the outer perimeter of the circle. The fireworks are fired from the center of this circle!
We recommend a minimum of 300 feet for display shells, boxed items and large roman candles. When firing from racks that are fanned, or fan boxed items, 10% more distanced should be allowed on the fan sides of the racks or boxes. This is to allow for the further distance the product may travel.
There are two basic different types of fireworks: Ground and aerial. The chart is for calculating your aerial display circle. Ground displays are usually fired out of a minimum 75 foot radius circle (we recommend 100 foot radius), and 125 foot radius circle (we recommend 200 foot radius) for wheels with large drivers, and large winged items. The only exception to these ground display circle radius figures is when the ground display is set up in the same display circle with your aerial display; then you would have to follow the circle radius figures for aerial fireworks.
The site for your display must be chosen and prepared with a great deal of care and attention toward safety. The area must be free from overhead obstructions such as trees and wires. Your site must include a “NO MAN’S LAND”. This is the downwind side of the circle and allows for the “SAFE FALLOUT” sparks and/or misfires. THIS AREA MUST BE KEPT FREE OF SPECTATORS, PARKED CARS, FLAMMABLE MATERIALS, BRUSH AND OTHER TINDER, ETC. AT ALL TIMES PRIOR TO AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE DISPLAY AND SHOULD BE THOROUGHLY EXAMINED AFTER DISPLAY TO ASSURE THAT NOTHING IS LEFT TO SMOLDER.
Exceptions to any applicable rules can be made only by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and should be made in writing.