from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fireworks Music Music for the Royal Fireworks on the River Thames ( London , May 15, 1749 )
Flames with liquid fuel, not pyrotechnics in the legal sense. Here SonneMondSterne 2018.

The pyrotechnics ( ancient Greek πῦρ pyr " fire ") indicates a technique in connection with - mostly explosive - combustion .

  • A pyrotechnic article is a name for products of the pyrotechnic industry that contain pyrotechnic compounds (chemical mixtures).
  • A pyrotechnic object or pyrotechnic article is - as a legal designation - an object that contains a pyrotechnic charge , the intentionally triggered chemical change of which causes certain movement, light, bang, smoke, fog, pressure or irritation effects should.
  • A pyrotechnic effect is - application-oriented - a pyrotechnic object ( effect carrier ) and its effect.

Pyrotechnic products are z. B. matches or the propellant charges in airbags, but especially fireworks products and special effects .

In many countries, objects with pyrotechnic materials are subject to national explosives law or a special pyrotechnic law . They are mostly divided into different classes according to their dangerousness and the total set weight ( net explosive mass , NEM).
The transport is regulated in the European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) .

Pyrotechnic items

Various pyrotechnic objects; Sir William Congreve , 1814

Pyrotechnic items usually consist of several components:

The sleeves equipped with a set are called the load , the entire assembly is called the body . A pyrotechnic object can consist of several bodies, such as an ejector body and several effect bodies.

The explosive substances that are used in the sentence differ somewhat from typical explosives , as they mostly - from a physical point of view - only burn off quickly ( deflagration ) and do not detonate .

The most well-known group of pyrotechnic objects are weapons technology and fireworks , which are used for amusement purposes ( fireworks ).

In addition, the pyrotechnic objects also include ignition means , ignition means , signal means and the like.

As pyrotechnics for technical purposes may be mentioned: Stage fireworks , Heizsätze for welding of plastics or welding of steel ( thermite ); Smoke or smoldering compounds of the appropriate composition can be used to fumigate vermin or pests ; In the early days of photography, flash light was produced by burning magnesium ; thermal self-destruct kits ; Irritant gas ( tear gas ); Anti-hail missiles .

Pyrotechnic waterfall
Pyrotechnic waterfall made of silver sparks

Explosives , objects that contain explosive substances such as TNT or large rockets (these are rockets used in space technology ) are not counted as pyrotechnic objects , although the underlying processes are similar.

Pyrotechnic effect

A pyrotechnic effect is the effect that the object unfolds, for example as light , sound , heat , pressure , movement or as fog or smoke or the body that has this effect.

Depending on the effect, use or construction, a distinction is made accordingly:

The classic applications of pyrotechnic effects are arts and entertainment (classic fireworks and theatrical fireworks , fire show , film special effects ) as well as in the military field fire kindling (about firebombs ), signal transmission and camouflage and deception .

Pyrotechnics are of particular importance in the technical field ( technical fireworks ), e.g. B. as distress signals , in the motor vehicle safety sector, in rescue facilities in leisure time and on expeditions or aerospace, whereby the distinction to the actual rocket technology is difficult, especially in the field of solid rockets .

In the case of special effects for events and films, flammable liquid substances such as propane , gasoline or ethanol , which are not pyrotechnic effects in the classic sense, are increasingly being used .


Handling, including manufacturing , processing , processing , using , moving , transporting and leaving within the business premises , recovery and destruction ; traffic ( trade ) and imports are regulated based on the possible risk .

Pyrotechnic objects are divided into different categories according to the total set weight (ignition, propellant and effect set) . The use of objects in certain categories often requires official approval and applies to a specific venue and time (this also includes the exemption for New Year's Eve fireworks ).

In addition to fireworks, the relevant regulations include: smoke or smoke-generating pyrotechnic objects, pyrotechnic signaling devices , Bengal torches , Bengal fires and shellac fire as well as firecrackers for firecrackers or salute cannons , stage pyrotechnics , rockets of various uses, and more.

All pyrotechnic objects are subject to ADR in transport as dangerous goods . They are grouped in Class 1 Explosive Substances , and depending on the total weight of the set they fall into one of the subclasses , depending on the type of set in one of the compatibility groups .

General legal regulations

The import of conventional fireworks as well as other pyrotechnics (except marginalia such as matches) is only permitted to licensed specialist companies in the EU. Importing by private individuals has been a criminal offense since 2005.

Bringing them from other EU countries is permitted as long as they relate to items from categories F1, F2 (there are restrictions here, however, except for example rockets with a net explosive mass of more than 20 g or floor blasters with lightning bolts), T1 , as well as P1 restricted. The bringing in of pyrotechnic objects of categories F3, F4, T2 and P2 requires a permit under the law on explosives.

The following are generally prohibited:

  • The non- commercial production of pyrotechnic objects and loose pyrotechnic sets (see e.g. PyroTG §14 in Austria )
  • the use of pyrotechnic objects in the immediate vicinity of churches and places of worship as well as hospitals, children's, old people's and recreation homes. (e.g. PyroTG § 17 in Austria)
  • the use of certain pyrotechnic objects in the interior and in the vicinity of buildings at risk of fire (e.g. in some German cities because of monument protection )

In addition, some items are prohibited weapons under the gun laws . The legislature is even stricter here.

In addition, the use of pyrotechnics is prohibited by stadium regulations in almost all football stadiums . However, it is disputed whether a violation is legally an administrative offense or a criminal offense. On February 8, 2020, for the first time in German football history, an approved "pyro show" took place in Hamburg 's Volkspark Stadium before a Bundesliga match.

Directive 2007/23 / EC

According to the requirements of Directive 2007/23 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic objects, pyrotechnic objects are classified into the following categories according to their hazard or intended use (Article 3):

a) Fireworks
  • Category 1: "very low risk", sound pressure level of max. 120 dB (A, Imp.) At a distance of 1 m, can also be used in closed areas including residential buildings;
  • Category 2: "low risk", sound pressure level of max. 120 dB (A, Imp.) At a distance of 8 m, generally forbidden in urban areas, acc. Ordinance or authorization to use from 16 years of age in demarcated areas outdoors;
  • Category 3: "medium risk", sound pressure level of max. 120 dB (A, Imp.) At a distance of 15 m, to be used in wide open areas outdoors only with official approval and by trained pyrotechnicians;
  • Category 4: "high risk", no sound level limit, only to be used in wide open areas outdoors with official approval and by trained pyrotechnicians;
b) Pyrotechnic objects for the stage and theater ( theater fireworks )
  • Category T1: Pyrotechnic articles for use in theaters and stages that present a low hazard;
  • Category T2: Pyrotechnic articles for use in theaters and stages, which are only intended for use by persons with specialist knowledge.
c) Other pyrotechnic articles
  • Category P1: pyrotechnic articles other than fireworks and pyrotechnic articles for other purposes that present a low risk;
  • Category P2: Pyrotechnic articles other than fireworks and pyrotechnic articles for other purposes which are only intended for handling or use by persons with specialist knowledge.

Regulation within the framework of ADR / RID

Dangerous goods class 1 - Explosive substances
Division 1.3 - Substances and objects that pose a fire hazard but are not capable of a mass explosion

All fireworks contain explosives and are subject to ADR (road) or RID (rail) transport as dangerous goods . They are grouped in class 1 explosive substances , and depending on the total set weight they fall into one of subclasses 1 to 4, depending on the type of effect in one of compatibility groups G or S. Normally available fireworks of class 1.4G fall because of the lower risk below a quantitative exemption limit which is sufficient for the end customer. Large fireworks effects as class 1.3G, for large calibers up to 1.1G, can only be transported under the strict legal requirements of the ADR.


In Germany, in accordance with the Explosives Act ( Sprengstoffgesetz , SprengG ) and Section 6, Paragraph (6) of the 1st Ordinance on the Explosives Act (1st SprengV), pyrotechnic objects are produced in accordance with the requirements of Article 3 in conjunction with Annex I of Directive 2007/23 / EC Divided into the following categories according to their hazard or intended use :


This type includes the typical fireworks that are burned down on New Year's Eve or during large fireworks.

Category F1
Fireworks with very low risk, can also be used partially in closed rooms, can be sold and used all year round, can also be acquired by young people (minimum age 12) (formerly class I).
maximum NEM
Bengal fire 20 g
Bengal woods 3 g
Flash tablets 2 g
Fountains 7.5 g
Table fireworks 2.0 g nitrocellulose with a mass fraction of not more than 12.6%
Sparklers 7.5 g
  • z. B. Snap peas , sparklers , table bombs, lightning crackling balls, mini volcanoes, fountains, flash tablets
Category F2
Fireworks with low risk, can only be used outdoors, delivery and use only on New Year's Eve or also during the year to anyone on presentation of a special permit issued by the locally responsible authority (for special events e.g. birthday, wedding anniversary, etc. ) or generally to persons who are in possession of a permit according to § 7 or 27 SprengG or in possession of a certificate of competence according to § 20 SprengG (hereinafter referred to as pyrotechnicians ) (minimum age 18 years) (formerly class II).
  • Floor firecrackers with a maximum of 6 grams of black powder, firework rockets up to 20 g net explosive mass, fountains and volcanoes
  • Battery fireworks with a maximum of 500 g net explosive mass, battery assemblies
  • Individual items with a whistle, especially air howling , have been banned in Germany since 2007.
Category F3
Fireworks that pose a medium risk, can only be used outdoors, may only be sold to pyrotechnicians (formerly class III).
Category F4
Fireworks that pose a great danger, can only be used outdoors, may only be sold to pyrotechnicians (formerly class IV).

Pyrotechnic articles for the stage and theater

Pyrotechnic items that are burned down during shows or other performances on stages.

Category T1
Pyrotechnic items for stages with low risk (formerly class T 1 ), available all year round, from 18 years.
Category T2
Pyrotechnic objects for stages with greater risk (formerly class T 2 ) and therefore only to be used by people with specialist knowledge.

Other pyrotechnic items

All those pyrotechnic objects that do not fall under the category of fireworks or stage pyrotechnics.

Category P1
Pyrotechnic items for other purposes with low risk (formerly class T 1 ), available all year round from the age of 18.
Category P2
Pyrotechnic objects for other purposes with a greater risk (formerly class T 2 ) and therefore only to be used by people with specialist knowledge.

CE mark and BAM mark

Ruins after the explosion of a fireworks factory in Seest, a suburb of Kolding , Denmark, in 2004, which left one dead and 85 injured.
In the similar accident in Enschede in 2000 , 23 people died. After this event, the duty of care in dealing with pyrotechnics was tightened significantly across Europe.

All pyrotechnic items are subject to a conformity verification procedure . A pyrotechnic article may only be placed on the market if it has passed this procedure and has a CE mark . For objects that have already been approved, there is a transition period until July 3, 2017, according to Section 47 of the Explosives Act. Until then, approved objects may continue to be manufactured, placed on the market and used. A special regulation applies to objects in class IV.

The following statements apply to the procedure that was valid until September 30, 2009: Pyrotechnic objects must be tested and approved by the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).
BAM publishes lists of the approvals granted.

The approval can be recognized by the printed approval symbol:

class Registration mark example
I. BAM-FI-xxxx BAM-FI-1079 Sparkler Mini
II BAM-FII-xxxx BAM-FII-2464 fireworks battery with 25 rounds
III BAM-FIII-xxxx BAM-FIII-0349 Fountain in gold
IV - (see below)
T1 BAM-FT1-xxxx BAM-FT1-0697 Rocket motor for model aircraft D7-3
T2 BAM-FT2-xxxx BAM-FT2-0004 Hand signal rocket , red
The x are replaced by a sequential identification number.

Austria: Pyrotechnics Act

Basic data
Title: Pyrotechnics Act 2010
Long title: Federal law with which police regulations regarding pyrotechnic objects and sentences as well as gun firing are enacted
Abbreviation: PyroTG 2010
Type: Federal law
Scope: Republic of Austria
Legal matter: 41/04 Explosives, weapons, ammunition
Reference: BGBl. I No. 131/2009
Effective date: January 4, 2010
Last change: BGBl. I No. 20/2015
Please note the note on the applicable legal version !

On January 4, 2010, the 1974 Pyrotechnics Act , which had been in force in Austria since 1974 , was replaced by a new, modernized law. In addition to the harmonization of EU legal norms, it also takes into account the changed situation of pyrotechnics in recent decades. The pyrotechnic objects are now divided into categories (formerly "classes"). This means that the objects are no longer primarily classified according to their weight, but rather according to their area of ​​use, danger and noise level.


This title includes rockets, bombs, bomb beds and batteries intended for use in fireworks.

Category F1 (corresponds roughly to the previous class I )

Danger (according to PyroTG 2010 §11): "very low"
Use: (also) in closed areas
Noise level: max. 120 dB at 1 m
Clientele: People without special expertise
Minimum age: 12 years
Requirements: none

Category F2 (corresponds roughly to the previous class II )

Danger (according to PyroTG 2010 §11): "low"
Use: in demarcated areas outdoors (prohibition of use in closed rooms), if necessary while observing the safety distance. Noise
level: max. 138 dB at 1 m
Clientele: People without special expertise
Minimum age: 16 years
Requirements: Use in the local area (according to StVO) is prohibited all year round.

Category F3 (corresponds roughly to the previous class III )

Danger (according to PyroTG 2010 § 11): "medium"
Use: in wide, open areas outdoors, in compliance with a safety distance. Noise
level: max. 144 dB at 1 m
Clientele: People with expertise
Minimum age: 18 years
Requirements: Proof of expertise required, use only after official approval

Category F4 (corresponds roughly to the previous class IV )

Danger (according to PyroTG 2010 § 11): "large"
Use: no restrictions
Noise level: unlimited
Minimum age: 18 years
Clientele: people with specialist knowledge
Requirements: to be used only by people with specialist knowledge while maintaining a safe distance

Pyrotechnic articles for the stage and theater

This title includes flash, bang and spray kits intended for use on stages and in theaters.

Category T1
Pyrotechnic articles for use on stages and in theaters that present a low hazard.
Category T2
Pyrotechnic articles for use on stages and in theaters, which are only to be used by persons with specialist knowledge.

Other pyrotechnic articles

This title includes items that cannot be assigned to either of the previous two categories.

Category P1
Other pyrotechnic articles that pose a low risk
Category P2
Other pyrotechnic objects reserved for use by persons with specialist knowledge (for example: detonators, stoppins, anti-hail rockets, model rocket motors, luminous stars and preliminary products)

Pyrotechnic sets

Loose phrases and mixtures of substances fall under this heading.

Category S1
Pyrotechnic sentences that pose little risk
Category S2
Pyrotechnic phrases that are only to be used by people with specialist knowledge

Possession and use

  • Category F1 : from the age of 12
  • Categories F2 and S1 : from the age of 16
  • Categories T1 and P1 : from the age of 18
  • Category F3 and P2 : from the age of 18, proof of expertise and official approval
  • Categories F4 , T2 and S2 : from the age of 18, proof of specialist knowledge and official approval

It should be noted in this context that there is a distinction between specialist knowledge and specialist knowledge (more important). According to the present law, the necessary knowledge can only be acquired through training courses in state or state-recognized training institutions. After the training, a fixed number of practical assignments is also required. (see also pyrotechnicians in Austria )


The Central Office for Explosives and Pyrotechnics (ZSP) at the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) is responsible for approval . The Explosives Act (SprstG) and the Explosives Ordinance (SprstV) are decisive here . The competencies for trading and purchasing fireworks and explosives, on the other hand, lie with the cantons ( Cantonal Explosives Ordinance, KSprstV).

Category I.
includes fireworks with a very low hazard potential. No sales license from the relevant canton is required for the sale. The manufacture and import, however, are subject to authorization from the Central Office for Explosives and Pyrotechnics .
Category II
includes low hazard fireworks for use in small open areas outdoors. According to federal law, there is no age limit. A minimum age of 12 years is recommended for submission. However, the cantons can impose restrictions. A sales permit from the relevant canton is required for the sale.
Category III
includes fireworks with increased hazard potential for use in wide, open areas outdoors. Sales are only permitted to people over the age of 18. A sales permit from the relevant canton is required for the sale.
Category IV
includes fireworks with a significant risk potential that may not be brought into retail . There is a bookkeeping requirement. Since January 1, 2014, a pyrotechnic license has also been required in Switzerland to burn items in this category.
Categories G1, G2, G3
include pyrotechnic articles for commercial purposes. A sales permit from the relevant canton is required for sales (except for G3 items). Sales are only permitted to people over the age of 18. There is a bookkeeping requirement.

Military items

Products used in the military are incendiary weapons , smoke devices and flares (light ammunition , signal ammunition ). These are also subject to corresponding regulations in civilian use.

See also


  • Suzanne Boorsch: Fireworks! Four Centuries of Pyrotechnics in Prints & Drawings. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Volume 58, No. 1, New York 2000. - Download as PDF
  • August Eschenbacher: Fireworks or the manufacture of fireworks. A representation of the entire pyrotechnics. 1920, Survival Press, Radolfzell 2001, ISBN 3-8311-2743-3
  • Jochen Gartz: From Greek Fire to Dynamite - A Cultural History of Explosives. ESMittler & Son, Hamburg 2007
  • Karl Gelingsheim: The modern art fireworks. A guide for amateurs Survival Press, Radolfzell 2001 (Reprint), ISBN 3-8311-2946-0
  • Alexander P. Hardt: Pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnica Publications, 2001, ISBN 0-929388-06-2
  • Wolf-Ingo Hummig: Special effects in the theater / studio. Verlag Hummig Effects, Peißenberg 1997, ISBN 3-931360-45-8
  • Franz Sales Meyer : Fireworks as a hobby's art . Leipzig, 1898, Reprint: Survival Press, 2002, ISBN 3-8311-4012-X
  • Michael S. Russell: The Chemistry of Fireworks. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000, ISBN 0-85404-598-8
  • Takeo Shimizu: Fireworks: The Art, Science, and Technique. 3rd edition, Pyrotechnica Publications 1996, ISBN 0-929388-05-4
  • George W. Weingart: Pyrotechnics , Survival Press, Radolfzell 2001 (reprint of the 1943 edition), ISBN 3-8311-3270-4

Web links

Commons : Pyrotechnics  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pyrotechnics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

For links to fireworks in particular, see fireworks

Pyrotechnics Act (Austria)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Brockhaus ABC Chemie , VEB FA Brockhaus Verlag Leipzig 1965, p. 1149.
  2. Customs Online - Fireworks. Retrieved September 10, 2018 .
  3. Der Sonntag (Karlsruhe), February 9, 2020, p. 13.
  4. ^ Laws on the Internet, Explosives Act .
  5. ^ Laws on the Internet, 1st Explosives Ordinance .
  6. Technical information from BAM on the labeling of pyrotechnic objects from October 1st, 2009 (as of December 2nd, 2010, .pdf) ( Memento of the original from September 15th, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /