What are quiet fireworks?Glenn Plume
What are quiet fireworks or low noise fireworks?
Our professional display side of the company, Alchemy Fireworks, are often asked at venues to produce quiet fireworks displays. This is usually because they have residents close by that don’t want to be disturbed. But what are quiet fireworks? Quiet fireworks or low noise fireworks are becoming increasingly popular for retail customers as well as our display customers. As their popularity rises so does the range that the industry has on offer. There is a slight misconception that quiet fireworks produce no noise at all. Some people will even refer to quiet fireworks as silent fireworks! This is not the case. Even the most innocuous fountain will produce some amount of noise.
Fireworks in the UK are regulated and the loudest fireworks for public use are limited to 120dB. Low noise fireworks generally fall into around the 90dB range. Now this may not sound like much a reduction but that’s the equivalent of a jet taking off compared to a lawnmower!
Some fireworks such as fountains and Catherine wheels will be far below this and these really are the quietest types of fireworks. Any firework which has to propel a unit into the sky will produce some noise. So comet Roman candles, even though classed as low noise fireworks, will produce a degree of noise but at ground level so the noise shouldn’t travel so far. Some different types of quiet firework effects are:
A very graceful effect resembling colourful sycamore seeds which come spinning towards the ground.
Dozens of tiny swimmers which go shooting off in all directions.
A star which splits into four separate stars at the height of it’s trajectory.
As the name suggest, a trailing tail usually of silver or gold and sometimes glittering with a coloured tip.
Fluffy tailed silver spinners. Almost like a Catherine wheel in the sky!
Low noise fireworks effects can usually be found in multi shot repeater fireworks such as cakes and barrages and also in some Roman candles. We haven’t found a rocket yet that we would consider falls into the quiet fireworks category. If you know of one please let us know!
Is there a downside to quiet fireworks?
Well yes, unfortunately there is. Because there is no burst charge involved in quiet fireworks, the debris produced is usually in larger pieces which takes longer to biodegrade. A bursting charge would usually blow the cardboard units ejected by the firework into tiny little pieces which are very easily picked up by a lawnmower after one or two mows.
Some cake firework will produce over 100 * 30mm cardboard canisters which will come back down to the ground intact. The best thing to do would be to rake them up in daylight but they can be spread over quiet a large area and it can be back breaking work! This is definitely something to be aware of when choosing quiet fireworks or low noise fireworks.
Quiet fireworks are here to stay and as an industry we are working on innovative ways to use the effects available. They are great if you want to use fireworks at times outside of the usual Bonfire Night and New Years Eve celebrations. They are pet and neighbour friendly although will still recommend making your local neighbourhood aware that you are having fireworks.
They are also great to use as an introduction to fireworks for young children who may be scared of loud bangs. Low noise fireworks are the ideal way to introduce them to the joys of fireworks. We will often start school fireworks displays with a quiet fireworks sequence to get the children used to seeing fireworks before we introduce some noise.
So when someone asks you ‘What are quiet fireworks?’ send them to this blog!