Mortars shall be positioned and discharged as follows:
- Mortars shall not be set up during night hours (between sunset and sunrise).
- Mortars shall be of sufficient strength and shall be arranged and positioned so that the shells may be safely discharged.
- Mortars shall be placed in as near a vertical position as possible. Mortars and other devices used to discharge fireworks shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 1123 and shall be positioned such that the shells are projected in a direction that ensures that they combust, deflagrate or detonate above the fallout area and all unexploded fireworks fall into the fallout area. Under no circumstances shall mortars be angled toward the viewing area.
- Mortars shall be of sufficient length to cause aerial shells to be projected to safe heights.
- Mortars shall be placed in sand-filled steel drums or heavy plastic drums no less than 32 gallons (121 L) in capacity. Wood racks or troughs filled with sand may also be used in lieu of drums for firing barrages or finales.
- Except for mortars placed in wood racks, mortars shall be buried to a depth of between two-thirds to three-quarters of their length.
- Except for mortars placed in wood racks and as may otherwise be provided in this section, mortars shall be separated from adjacent mortars by a distance of at least 2 inches (51 mm) or the diameter of the larger mortar, whichever is greater.
- Except as otherwise provided in this section, there shall be a separation distance of at least 2 inches (51 mm) or one-half of the diameter of the mortar, whichever is greater, between the mortar and the wall of the drum or trough.
- Prior to placement, mortars shall be inspected for defects, such as dents, bent ends, damaged interiors and damaged plugs. Defective mortars shall not be used. Any scale found on the inside surface of the mortars shall be removed prior to placement.
Wood racks. Wood racks used in conjunction with firework displays shall be designed and operated as follows:
- Wood racks shall be of sufficient strength to prevent adjacent mortars from being repositioned in the event that a shell detonates in a mortar, causing the mortar to burst.
- The use of wood racks shall be limited to single break shells not exceeding 6 inches (152 mm) in diameter.
- Wood racks with chain fused mortars 3 inches (76 mm) or less in diameter shall be limited to a maximum of 15 mortars per unit. Racks containing mortars 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter shall be limited to a maximum of 12 mortars. Racks containing mortars 5 inches (127 mm) to 6 inches (152 mm) in diameter shall be limited to a maximum of 10 mortars.
- Mortars placed in wood racks shall not be reloaded during the display.
Mortars shall be loaded as follows:
- Mortars shall be loaded during daylight hours (between sunrise and sunset). Mortars shall not be loaded during night hours (between sunset and sunrise).
- All unloading of fireworks from the delivery vehicle and loading and fusing of the fireworks shall be conducted under the supervision of a certificate of fitness holder in the presence of a department representative.
- All shells shall be inspected by a certificate of fitness holder for fireworks display immediately prior to placement. Any shells that are torn, leaking, show signs of having been wet or have broken fuses shall not be used.
- The certificate of fitness holder for fireworks display shall verify that the proper lifting charge has been attached to each shell to ensure the safe control of discharge height.
- When loading into mortars, shells shall be held by their lowering cords (if provided) or their fuses (if no lowering cord is provided).
- Shells shall be lowered carefully into the mortar, such that they are properly seated in the bottom of the mortar. Shells shall never be forced into a mortar.
- No person shall place any part of his or her body over the mortar during its loading.
Control panels used to conduct firework displays shall be designed, installed and operated as follows:
- The control panel and all related equipment, including any junction boxes, shall be located within the display site, at least 50 feet (15 240 mm) from the discharge site, with a clear line of sight to the discharge site.
- A protective barrier capable of withstanding the impact of falling debris or a misfired shell and made of or covered with a fire-retardant material shall be provided between the control panel and the discharge site and above the control panel. Such protective barrier shall be of sufficient size to protect the control panel and all persons who will be positioned at the control panel during the fireworks display, including at least one department representative.
- The control panel shall be provided with a double safety switch to prevent premature activation of current to the shells, such as combination of keys or single throw switches connected in series, both of which must be activated for current to flow.
- Each switch on the control panel, including testing and firing controls, shall be clearly marked to indicate its function. The control panel shall be equipped with an indicator, such as a light, a sound device, or both, to indicate when the control panel is armed for firing.
- If the control panel has a built-in test circuit, the unit shall be designed to limit the test current to 0.05 ampere or to 20 percent of the no-fire current of the electric match being used, whichever is less.
- Multi-testers, such as volt-ohm meters, shall not be used for testing electric matches unless the tester's maximum current delivery potential has been measured to be not more than 0.05 ampere or 20 percent of the no-fire current of the electric match being used, whichever is less.
- Control panels shall be powered by batteries or isolated power supplies used for firing purposes only. If batteries are used, they shall be self-contained in the firing unit or otherwise covered or protected to prevent accidental contact with wires leading to the fireworks. Control panels powered by commercial power may be used, provided that an isolation transformer is used. The transformer shall be located within the firing unit or elsewhere in the firing system.
Ground display pieces shall be positioned and discharged in compliance with the following requirements:
- Combustible materials located beneath ground display pieces shall be wet down before the display. Vegetation within 50 feet (15 240 mm) shall be removed as set forth in FC304.1.2.
- Poles for ground display pieces shall be securely placed and braced so that they maintain the proper position when fireworks are displayed.
The discharge of fireworks shall be conducted in compliance with the following requirements:
- All persons conducting the fireworks display shall wear clothing and protective gear in compliance with the requirements of the regulations of the United States Department of Labor, as set forth in 29 CFR Part 1910.
- Communication shall be maintained at all times between the certificate of fitness holders for fireworks display and the command post.
- No fireworks shall be discharged if any person is at an unsafe distance from the point of discharge. The certificate of fitness holders for firework displays shall ensure that all persons have moved a safe distance away from such mortar or ground display piece before firing it.
- No more than one hundred shells may be ignited by a single fuse.
Control panel operation.
- The control panel and all cables, junctions, and attached electric matches shall be visually inspected immediately prior to the display. The control panel shall not be in "test" status or "arm" status during this inspection.
- Mortars shall be connected to the control panel and the circuit tested only after all the shells have been loaded into the mortars and all electric matches are connected to the fuses. Ground display pieces shall be connected to the control panel and the circuit tested only after the fireworks have been loaded onto the display.
- No person shall be in the discharge site when any circuit testing is performed.
- If the testing of the circuits indicates a problem, the certificate of fitness holder for fireworks display shall reinspect any cables, connections, or electric matches and correct the problem. This reinspection shall be performed only after the control panel has been switched off or disconnected from the power source.
- Only such fireworks contractor personnel as are necessary for the proper and safe operation of the display and department representatives shall be allowed at the control panel when fireworks are being discharged.
- No person shall be in the discharge site when fireworks are being discharged. The certificate of fitness holder conducting an electrically-fired display shall personally visually check the discharge site prior to commencing a display to ensure that the area is clear of all persons, and shall not commence the display, or shall discontinue it, at any time persons are observed within such area.
- The control panel shall be switched off and all cables disconnected after the conclusion of the display, prior to any cleanup or other work in the discharge site.
Offshore firework displays shall be conducted in compliance with the following requirements:
- Offshore firework displays shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this chapter except as they may be inconsistent with this section.
- Offshore firework displays shall be conducted from a barge maintained at a fixed position, as designated on the firework display permit. No fireworks shall be discharged from any tugboat or other vessel or platform.
- Only fireworks to be discharged during the display shall be allowed on the fireworks barges. Storage of excess fireworks on the barges is prohibited.
- Fireworks to be used in an offshore fireworks display shall be installed, loaded and fused in the presence of department representatives while the barge is moored at a lawful and safe location in New York City acceptable to the department. The department may authorize such installation, loading and fusing at a mooring outside of New York City at a location acceptable to the department. No installation, loading or fusing shall be conducted on the barge after the barge departs from its mooring. Department representatives shall accompany the barge from its mooring to the display site.
- The fireworks display barge shall be towed into position by a tugboat authorized to operate in New York City. The tugboat shall be under power at all times during the display, so that all necessary maneuvering of the barge can be effected. The tugboat shall be equipped with an instrument to measure the distance to the shore to enable the tugboat to ascertain and maintain its position.
- Barge design and construction. Barges used in conjunction with firework displays shall be designed, constructed and maintained in compliance with the following requirements:
- Only steel barges acceptable to the United States Coast Guard shall be used as fireworks display barges.
- Fireworks display barges shall bear durable signs on both sides reading "Fireworks—Stay Clear." The lettering shall be at least 18 inches (457 mm) high in red on a white background.
- The control panel shall be located on the fireworks display barge.
- Fireworks display barges shall be provided with suitable barriers constructed and arranged so as to protect the control panel, persons at the control panel, and the tugboat from misfired shells, fireworks and falling debris.
- Railings shall be provided around the control panel area to prevent persons from falling overboard.
- All personnel on board the fireworks barge or tugboat shall wear United States Coast Guard approved flotation devices.
- Department representatives shall be present on the fireworks barge and the tugboat at all times during a fireworks display.
- Conduct of the display. Offshore firework displays shall be conducted in compliance with the following requirements:
- All fireworks shall be discharged and directed in such a manner that any falling debris, sparks or embers will not land upon the shore, or a wharf, pier, bulkhead or other structure.
- Reloading of mortars during the display is prohibited.
- Communication shall be maintained at all times between the certificate of fitness holders for fireworks display conducting the display, the tugboat pilot and the command post.
- One certificate of fitness holder for fireworks display shall be responsible for monitoring the position of the barge and the trajectory of the fireworks and the fireworks debris, and communicating to department representatives any change in wind direction or other condition requiring repositioning of the barge or other safety measure. Such certificate of fitness holder shall have no other duties during the display.