New Years Eve and Fireworks - Know the Law!4 Replies
As many of you may have noticed, in Munich you can buy fireworks in any supermarket with no restriction what so ever. If you are thinking about adding some explosive effects to your New Years Eve Party, please read the following paragraph about the German Law for explosives. "This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others. 13.6.1 German Explosives Law The German explosives legislation is divided into several sections: The 'Sprengstoffgesetz' (SprengG), the '1. and 2. Verordnung zum SprengG' (1.und 2. SprengV), and the according 'Verwaltungsrichtlinien'. For rocketeers the most important parts are paragraph 27 of the SprengG and the 1. and 2. SprengV which regulate handling and storage of pyrotechnic devices. The 'Verwaltungsrichtlinien' are also very interesting because they define, how the office people will (have to) react to inquiries. The SprengG divides Pyrotechnic devices into 6 different classes: - Class I (very small fireworks) These (eg. sparklers) may be bought and used throughout the year, even by children. No rockets are allowed in class I. - Class II (small fireworks) These are the common end-of-the-year fireworks. May be bought by adults during the last three days of the year, and may only be used on 31st of December and 1st of January. - Class III (medium fireworks) and - Class IV (big fireworks) may be bought and used only by licensed people (license according to paragraph 7, 20 or 27 of the German explosives law). Storage has to be done in approved storage places. - Class T1 (small technical pyrotechnic devices) These may be bought by adults and used by people of at least 14 years (under adult supervision from 14-17) throughout the year. Limitation for rocket motors in this class is 20g of propellant. That's why German rocketeers are usually stuck with A/B/C motors. - Class T2 (big technical pyrotechnic devices) Everything that is not considered display fireworks and anything too big to be class T1. For rocket motors this means anything with more than 20g of propellant AND also clustering and staging of T1 motors. (!!!). So if you plan to launch eg. an Estes Commanche, get your T2-license first! All pyrotechnic devices except class IV have to be approved by the 'Bundesanstalt fuer Materielforschung und -Pruefung' (BAM). In order to get approved, the device and the contained pyrotechnic compounds have to pass a number of tests to assure stability in storage, safety in handling and use, and quality of the products. The manufacturer will have to demonstrate acceptible quality control practices to be sure that subsequent production runs of the product will equal the tested ones. From time to time, additional samples have to be sent to the BAM for quality assurance verification."