Small Garden Firework Displays

Not everyone has the luxury of a large garden. If you’re limited for space and can’t get 25 metres between your fireworks and the spectators, you may need to scale down your event and use garden (Category 2) fireworks. If this is the case, don’t despair! This article dispels the myth that a garden display has to be tame or quiet.


Getting started

If you haven’t already done so, read the General Advice article first which runs through the basics of having a display.


What are garden fireworks?

Fireworks for sale to the public currently come under two classifications: Garden and display fireworks. Display fireworks have a spectator distance of at least 25m. This makes them unsuitable for many smaller gardens. That leaves garden class fireworks which have a spectator distance of at least 5m, or 8m for fireworks classified under the new EU/EN standards (read more in the Fireworks Classifications article).

Do not ignore the safety distance. It is there for a reason. Be aware of other implications of ignoring this safety distance too: If anything goes wrong, you could be deemed to have used the firework irresponsibly (or illegally) and it could render any insurance void.

Make sure you have a proper fall out area for your fireworks! Do not use rockets in your garden if, for example, they may land in someone else’s garden or in the street.


When to use garden fireworks

Here’s when you might want to consider scaling down to garden fireworks:

  • If you cannot get 25m safety distance between your fireworks and the spectators.
  • If you do not have a suitable fall out area for the debris created by display class fireworks.
  • If you want to scale things down a little, for example if you are displaying for a very young audience.
  • If you are a complete beginner and have not used fireworks ever before. Garden fireworks make a nice start!


What fireworks to use

Despite their smaller size, you can still create quite a stir with garden fireworks if you pick the right ones.

Garden class rockets are good for the money to create a “whooosh!” followed by a bang and effect.

Garden fountains look great at 5m but pick larger ones which are priced from £5-£10 individually – avoid the really small ones found in garden selection boxes.

Garden Fireworks

A garden fountain in action

Garden class cakes are slightly harder to find, but several brands do have these in their range. Of particular interest are the new 8m (EU classed) cakes from the likes of Absolute Fireworks. These are much more powerful than 5m cakes and not too far off the performance of the bigger display cakes on a shot by shot basis, providing of course you do have 8m to play with.

This video shows an example of a 5m garden fountain:

If you want a really small display or are on a very tight budget, a garden selection box might work well. Please note a selection box will usually give you lots of very small fireworks unless you buy a box for say £30 or more.


Some garden firework tips

Here are some more suggestions and tips for you:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of Category 2 fireworks. They can still badly burn or injure. Take the same precautions as you would with display fireworks. Always make sure the fireworks cannot fall over (small garden fireworks are easy to part bury in soil if the label directs this).
  • Don’t let children play with, or near, the fireworks.
  • Don’t light them the wrong way up! It’s not always as obvious with smaller Category 2 fireworks (especially from selection boxes) which way up they should go. Read each firework’s instructions well in advance of the display.
  • Don’t leave any selection boxes open and uncovered near the display area.
  • Don’t be tempted to show off and hold the fireworks, no matter how small they are!
  • Do have a bucket of water and a first aid kit handy. People can get complacent with small fireworks. This results in injuries.
  • Dispose of used fireworks carefully.
  • Don’t be tempted to slip in a few display fireworks to liven things up, unless you can comply with their safety requirements.


Further information

If you need any further help feel free to ask in the busy UKFR Fireworks Forum.

When you are ready to buy your fireworks, always give priority to UKFR advertisers and those listed on the Buy Fireworks page (find out why).  Once you have purchased your fireworks head over to the Using Fireworks section for expert advice on how to set them up and let them off.

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