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This is the question and answer section where you Ask Bob Kellner, President of Kellner's Fireworks any pyro related question you may have and we will post them here. Go ahead and ask your questions here

Question: Hi, I am very interested in obtaining type 54 permit and was wondering how difficult it would be on getting the permit in California? Is the process the same for every state? - Adam

Bobs Answer: Hello Adam,
The answer is "yes" and "no".
There are four main requirements for getting your type 54 permit to use Display Fireworks.
  • That you are over 21 years of age.
  • That you have never had a felony.
  • That if you are not close enough to your supplier to pick up your products on the morning of your show, you have or can use an approved explosives storage magazine.
  • That you have state and local approval to use fireworks.

Numbers 3 and 4 would prove more difficult in some states than in others.
I hope that this helped.

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question Part 1: Hi Bob, I'm an average joe. I wanted to get my ATF license to buy professional fireworks. I have no criminal record and I am over 21. The application forms seem pretty simple, is it really as easy as it looks to get my license? -Thanks, C****

Bobs Answer: Hi C****,
It depends on what state you live in as to how easy it is. Where do you live?

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question Part 2: I live in New York, I imagine it might be a little bit harder than states where consumer fireworks are legal?

Bobs Answer: Hi C****,
ATF will require that you obtain state permission first. NY state has an "Own and Possess" Explosives license that you'll have to get first. This is from the NY State Dept of Labor. They aren't too hard to get. We have a lot of customers with it. After you get that, the ATF license is a breeze.

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: I would like to order sparklers for my club. The ones to attach to bottles. Please tell me how to order? - Charles

Bobs Answer: The item that you are asking about is what we call our Big Birthday Cake Sparklers. These emit silver sparks for about 45 seconds with very little smoke. Many nightclubs attach these to champagne bottles, usually with a ribbon. However, this item is not designed for that application.

Big Birthday Cake Sparklers are fireworks and as such, are subject to the labeling requirements of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The label clearly states that this item must be used outside and the plastic spike must be stuck firmly into something. Therefore, they are perfect for use at a birthday party picnic but not for use inside a nightclub.

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: About the B.O.S.S. slices, they are sold as 1.4g and my state, Texas, does not require any user permits unless it is 1.3g. My main questions is, can these qualify as 1.4g UN0431 (articles pyrotechnic) so that they can be shipped by FedEx and avoid the costly commercial freight companies? Thanks Bob. - Mark

Bobs Answer: Hi Mark, Yes, these can be shipped FedEx Ground as UN0431, but would be subject to the FedEx hazmat charge of $25.00 per box (above the shipping price). Since they are not consumer fireworks, you will need an exhibitors license or permit to buy them. Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: This question is in regards to the BOSS system. The flyer says everything is 1.4g, except for the salutes, which are 1.3g. Does that mean I can order these through you with my standard local permit? Do those require a special permit or special shipping as opposed to regular class C fireworks shipments? The concept is fantastic and I sure would like to add it to my Grand Finale!!! I think I've been buying from you for about 20 years now and every year something else is added that I gotta have. Thanks for your Quality and Service! - Michael W.

Bobs Answer: Thanks for the nice email. Yes, you can get these on your local permit as long as its not limited only to "Consumer Fireworks". Were always looking for new things, and sometimes they turn out to be good ones like these. Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: Where can I find the double spiral report rockets and reverse spiral rockets, and how much do they cost?? - Eric S.

Bobs Answer: Hi Eric, Thanks for writing. I think you must have seen these amazing rockets on the YouTube videos from our pyro club night in April. Those rockets were a work of art, designed and produced by a master fireworks maker, purely for the enjoyment of the fireworks lovers that attended our event. They are not mass produced for sale. If they were, they would probably take so many hours to produce that nobody could afford them. If you are interested in learning how to make rockets, I would advise you to join the Pyrotechnics Guild International www.pgi.org. The PGI is a great place to learn safe pyro. Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: "I am the owner and operator of a fireworks company based in NY. I recently received one of your fliers from the mail and was thinking about purchasing some of your products. I currently have a few questions. I have my ATF federal explosives license, however I am still waiting on NYS to issue my local one. I am emailing you for one, to see if you have a firing course or certification of any sort that could give me a letter, or certificate for safety and handling because NYS thinks because I am trying to start a new company I am incompetent. I am currently working with a company as an employee doing shows, but that is not good enough for them. Is there any sort of thing that you provide or would be willing to help me achieve. I have previously worked with many consumer fireworks since a very young age and am very familiar with local, and federal laws at this time. I would love to order a few cakes from you but I'm sure the rules are very strict when it comes to selling them. Any information would be a great help because I was hoping to "satisfy" NYS by July 4th to do a small show locally, but still need my certificate from them to do so." - James D.

Bobs Answer: Since you are in New York and we are in Pa, all you need to buy fireworks from us is your ATF federal explosives license. However, you will need your NY state license to store the products.

Every April we have the local fireworks club, The Pyro Artists, present the Pyrotechnics Guild Internationals Display Fireworks Operator Certification Course at our facility. It is a all day class filled with great information that should keep you safe on the firing line and along with a Certificate of Attendance should more than satisfy your state requirement.

For more information on our next class, please keep checking our website. For more information on the Pyro Artists fireworks club, please see their website www.pa-pyroartist.org.



Question: "Hi Bob, I'm interested in purchasing several cases of your 1.4G #200 and #500 single-shot aerial shells. Can you tell me a little bit about them?

Are the breaks even close to 1.3G?

How about the effects?

If you were to choose between the two, would you recommend the #200's over the #500's?

I eagerly await your reply. So far, no one has been able to answer my questions on these, beyond generic answers.

Thank you, Bob!" - Matt R.

Bobs Answer: "Hi Rich,

Hi Matt, About the #200 and #500 consumer aerials, here is a little background.

In order for a 1.4g aerial device to be approved for transportation in the U.S. without special testing, it must meet the following criteria per tube:
  • It cannot contain more than 60 grams of total composition (lift charge, burst charge, and effect composition).
  • The maximum quantity of lift charge shall not exceed 20 grams.
  • The maximum quantity of break charge shall not exceed 25% of the total weight of chemical composition in the item.
A 1.3g 2.5" shell usually has 65 to 70 grams of total composition, so the consumer aerials really aren't much smaller.

It really doesn't matter what the diameter of the item is, a 1.4g aerial is limited to 60 grams of composition. The #200's have a 2 3/8" ball inside them and the #500's have a 3" . However, they both have the same amount of total composition (60g). The #500's do have a little more room in the shell and therefore can have a little fancier effects such as strobing pistils. The #200's tend to be plain chrysanthemum and peony break shells. Which ones to pick really depends on what effect you are looking for.


Matts response: "Wow. That was an awesome explanation. I appreciate that very much! I always wondered how this all worked out. Thank you again!"


Question: Hello - I am a Florida resident, and have been enjoying setting off fireworks displays for family and friends safely, but still only consumer grade (South of the Boarder stuff) :(. Last year I was visiting in Long Island NY, and saw numerous spectacular "professional grade" displays being performed by normal residents from their backyards. I was salivating to say the least... I said to myself, that I want to be able to set off displays like that myself as well, have been searching with no luck until now! Since you are the experts, and I can see on your extensive website that you have the stuff I have been looking for, my question is how can I obtain your "professional grade" components like 12" shells, tubes, igniters, Finale packs, etc... I am a FL resident, so the Fireworks are for use outside of PA. Do I still need a permit from PA for you to sell them to me? Do I need one from FL for you to sell to me? Please advise what documents I need for you to sell your serious firework items to me, and I will get them to you ASAP.... Paul "

Bobs Answer:
Hi Paul,
Sorry, but In order to buy the profession grade fireworks (1.3g fireworks, formerly Class B), you first need to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The four criteria that ATF looks for are:
  • That you have local and state permission to have a fireworks display.
  • That you have never been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year.
  • That you are at least 21 years old.
  • That you have a place to store the fireworks, an explosives magazine.
If you meet all of these criteria, it will be no problem getting an ATF permit. If you can't, I'm afraid you'll have to make do with consumer fireworks.



Question: "I usually go to Ohio every year where I buy a bunch of fireworks for the 4th of July. I recently came across the Kellner's Fireworks website. I see that you are located in Grove City which is a lot closer to me than Ohio. Being a PA resident...do I need a permit?? I never needed one buying from out of state and I cant understand why I would need one to buy from your store?

Thanks!

Brian"

Bobs Answer:
Hi Brian,
Consumer fireworks are federally legal for people to use. However, every state can make more restrictive laws. In Ohio, people can buy fireworks but not use them in the state. In Pa, residents need to get local permission to use aerial fireworks (a permit) before we can sell to them. Some local governments require insurance, some charge fees, some say yes to everyone and others say no to everyone.

A couple of local township have made their permits available at our stores for $20 to any of our customers that would like to use them there. If you want to get a permit where you live, you'll have to check with your local government office. Otherwise, we can only sell you sparkling items like fountains and wheels.



Question: "I purchased quite a few cases of the cake festival balls at the demo nights. I seen quite a few shot during the open shooting and was impressed with the performance of the cake. When I returned home I shot a couple out of the cases I bought and was very disappointed . I have talked to a couple other people and they said there was two different versions of this cake this year. Is there any information you can give me on this item." ... Brian B.

Bobs Answer:
Hi Brian,
You ask a very good question. For a firework to be approved for sale and transportation in the U.S., it needs an approval number from the US Dept. of Transportation. This number is called an  E.X. number .

To obtain this number, an item must either undergo expensive UN dangerous goods testing, or follow the guidelines of a document called APA Standard 87-1. 87-1 is a document produced by the American Pyrotechnics Association and incorporated by reference into the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is a great tool for a fireworks company and it lets a company apply for approval without sending a live sample to a lab and applying for a E.X number through it is free.

Using 87-1, a 1.4g aerial item such as the 19 Shot Small Festival Balls is limited to 200 grams of total composition, and busting (opening) charge shall not exceed 25% of the total pyro weight.

Any burst charge containing metallic powder (such as fine aluminum) is considered to be intended to produce an audible effect, and is limited to 130milligrams. Burst charge consisting of only black powder is not considered to be intended to produce an audible effect when it is used to expel and ignite a secondary effect (stars).

The current discussion (argument) between our industry and the US DOT is whether a factory can add a little 130mg kick of aluminum powder to the black powder break of a 1.4g item or not.

Personally, I feel that it creates no addition danger and adds a little pop to the aerial break to make a fuller effect. I feel that a only black powder break makes a  dump effect and is not nearly as good.

Until this question is resolved (both for the US and other countries), I'm afraid that some of the factories are being cautious and producing items with only a black powder break (such as the factory that made the Festival Ball cake this year). In this post 911 world, nobody wants to be accused of selling illegal explosives.

We at Kellner's love good fireworks, and we will continue to work with our industry, factories and regulators to get our customers the best possible fireworks.

I will let you know how things end up.



Question: "Hello, I used to shoot with a company that bought Professional Fireworks from Kellner's. I was fond of one type of re-loadable shell, the "Titanium". You know the one that would have a flash of light and then a huge boom! Well, I was wondering if you sold or if they made a Titanium shell for Common Fireworks category? Or maybe something close?
Thanks."

... Jason H.

Bobs Answer:
Hi Jason,
What you are referring to is a Titanium Salute. These are aerial shells filled with a mixture of aluminum, potassium perchlorate and sulfur, known as flash powder. The crowd always loves these at a fireworks show.
Unfortunately, the federal government only allows 130 milligrams of flash powder in a consumer firework aerial item. This is only equivalent to about three firecrackers, so the bang isn't too loud. Therefore, consumer fireworks aerial items are almost always with a nice color break and not with a huge boom.



Question: Hi bob My name is David and I have shot 1.3g for 7 years. I buy class C. from your store your #500 picture perfect is awesome for what it is.

I had a question on display shells. I know that the NFPA1123 the distance is 70' per inch of shell. I wanted to know what is the approx. distance a 3 - 10 shell will break at in the sky. I did not know if a 3 breaks under 200'. I was told that a 3 will break at 300 - 400 feet, but that did not make sense because of the safe zone at 70' per inch of shell.

Thank You for any help.

Bobs Answer: Hi David, Here are the approximate heights and diameter of breaks that we have for shells.

3" Shells     300' height     30' break

4" Shells     400' height     70' break

5" Shells     500' height     90' break

6" Shells     600' height     125' break

8" Shells     800' height     500' break

10" Shells    900' height     650' break

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: Hi bob

Great site! I'm a fellow PA resident and have been firing a neighborhood show consisting of consumer grade product for the past 3 years, each July under a locally obtained permit from the township.

I'm looking to get an ATF license that would allow me to legally purchase and fire Class B product at next years show.

In looking at the ATF "Application for Explosives License or Permit", I see several options for the permit type.

Based on my criteria, which permit should I be applying for?

- I'd like to purchase and fire Class B product 3 times per year, annually (each show permitted by my municipality)

- I would like to employ contingency storage of the product

- I do *NOT* intend on importing, selling, or distributing any product

- I do *NOT* intend on manufacturing any of my own display items

Can you give me some advice on which ATF license/permit I should be looking at?

Thanks again,

Frank

Bobs Answer: Hi Frank,

You'd want the Type 54 User of Fireworks permit. You will need contingency storage from a licensed explosives magazine owner in case your show would get rained out or postponed.

We provide this to all of our customers for product that they would buy from us, but BATF generally limits this to customers that live within a few hours drive from our facility.

The other criteria that ATF looks for are:

1.) That you have local and state permission to have a fireworks display.

2.) That you have never been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year.

3.) That you are at least 21 years old.

If you meet all of these criteria, it should be no problem getting an ATF permit. If you can't, I'm afraid you'll have to make do with consumer fireworks.

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: Hi bob

I was wondering if you could tell me how many cases of 3in. salutes I would be able to get without throwing up any flags to the ATF. I am just starting this and do not want to get into any trouble. my printer ran out of ink so I have to get more this week and then I will send you a copy of my liscense.

Thank You: S****

Bobs Answer: Hi S****,

ATF doesn't care how many salutes you buy provided that:

a) If you don't have a storage magazine, you use them all on the day of purchase and don't store them.

b) If you have a type 4 magazine for storage, that you mix them with some color shells prior to storage and don't store them as bulk salutes.

Other than that, blast away!

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: I see other sites referring to 1.75" shell as a consumer class firework, but you have two items listed as Professional type. Can these be purchased as consumer type fireworks? I am looking for 1.75" shells sold buy the box, and without the tube.

Thanks: P*****

Bobs Answer: Hello P*****,

Sorry, but according to the US Dept of Transportation, 1.75" reloadable color shells can only be a consumer firework if put into a package with no more than 12 shells and a launching tube. Also, these shells must contain less than 60 grams of total chemical composition (lift charge, burst charge and visible/audible effect charge). Therefore, our bulk 1.75" color shells are classified as 1.3g Display Fireworks and cannot be sold to anyone without a BATF license.

Best Regards, Bob Kellner




Question: How do you get a BATF license?

Bobs Answer: Here is the link to the BATF license. You'd want to apply for the User of Fireworks permit.

http://www.atf.gov/content/library/explosives-forms




Question: I know you get this all the time but in SC and FL it seems most of our customers just want loud over effect. Any suggestions of a few products that are super loud for consumer class?

G***

Bobs Answer: Hi G***,

I'm afraid that your customers are going to have to get used to effect over loudness.

For a firework to be approved for sale and transportation in the U.S., it needs an approval number from the US Dept of Transportation. This number is called an E.X. number.

To obtain this number, an importer usually has to follow the guidelines of a document called APA Standard 87-1.

87-1 was produced by the American Pyrotechnics Association and incorporated by reference into the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Using 87-1, a 1.4g aerial item is limited to 200 grams of total composition (500 grams for separated tubes), and busting (opening) charge shall not exceed 25% of the total pyro weight.

Any burst charge containing metallic powder (flash powder) is considered to be intended to produce an audible effect loudness, and is limited to 130milligrams. Burst charge consisting of only black powder is not considered to be intended to produce an audible effect when it is used to expel and ignite a secondary effect (stars).

The current discussion (argument) between our industry and the US DOT is whether a factory can add a little 130mg kick of aluminum powder to the black powder break of a 1.4g item or not. Personally, I feel that it creates no addition danger and adds a little pop to the aerial break to make a fuller effect. I feel that a only black powder break makes a dump effect and is not nearly as good.

Until this question is resolved (both for the US and other countries), I'm afraid that some of the factories are being cautious and producing items with only a black powder break. In this post 911 world, nobody wants to be accused of selling illegal explosives.

We at Kellner's love good fireworks, and we will continue to work with our industry, factories and regulators to get our customers the best possible fireworks. Check out our online videos and you'll find a lot of really good items with good effects, but none just made for loudness.

Best Regards,
Bob Kellner




Question: Bob I am having a hard time finding contingency storage in the southern Ohio area. Are there any contingency storage rental places or places of business that might be willing to share their storage with a pay as you need fee.

D****

Bobs Answer: Hi D****,

It would be best if you had a friend in the construction or mining field that has a magazine or a gun shop that would write you a letter. All you are really asking for is a safe place to store your product overnight in the case that your show got rained out.

Best Regards,
Bob Kellner




Question: Let me start by saying I have worked for ********, for many years, until they closed up, and I miss shooting display grade fireworks... I have been considering starting a small business, but have many questions, and no one to answer them... Liability insurance is a big issue, and something I need to have but how do I go about covering myself without bankrupting myself either??

Secondly buying and storage??? If I went ahead and got a BATF license, how could I get the fireworks to the shoot locations, without having storage of my own???

B****

Bobs Answer: Hi B****,

You are right. It is quite expensive to get into the display business. You really need to be able to get 10-12 shows right off the bat to justify the money you'll have to put out to start.

The things that you'll need to consider to start are:
1) Vehicle and show liability insurance will be $5-7,000 minimum. Not too bad divided by 12 shows, but prohibitive for 1 to 2.
2) You will need an explosive magazine to store your product in. Possibly, there might be a mining company or a construction company in your area that might rent you some space. If not, you�d have to have some land with at least 300 feet distances to neighbors and put a type 4 magazine on it. Sometimes used magazines are available on Ebay at pretty reasonable rates.

I hope that this helps you.

Best Regards,
Bob Kellner




Question: Hi Bob,
I'm a canadian resident and I visit pennsylvania this summer, I like to know if I can buy fireworks, firecrackers and other stuff and If a need a permit?

Thanks
R****

Bobs Answer: Hello R******,

There is no problem with you buying fireworks from us. Regarding taking them back to Canada, as I understand it, you can take them back for your personal use but not for resale.

Best Regards,
Bob Kellner




Question: Hi Bob,
We are currently looking at building a new Type I Magazine for our FWs. We must move due to separation issues related to development in the industrial park next to where our current magazine in located (on the airport). What I�m looking for is the net weight of pyrotechnic material in the various size shells (approximations). Maybe we can get away with the current separation (I doubt it). We store 12", 10", 8", 6", 5", 4", and 3" shells. BATF determines separation distances according to total net weight of pyrotechnic material in the shells, not the total shell weights. Also, the BATF regulation mentions barriers allowing for shorter separations (1/2), but I don�t see any specs for such barriers.

Your help would be appreciated.
M****, Fire Chief

Bobs Answer: Hello M***,

The average gross weight of the shells we carry is as follows. The ATF considers the pyro weight to be half of the gross weight on shells.

3�     gross weight .5 lbs
4�     gross weight 1.1 lbs
5�     gross weight 1.9 lbs
6�     gross weight 3.5 lbs
8�     gross weight 6.5 lbs
10�     gross weight 12.2 lbs
12�     gross weight 29 lbs

In ATF table 555.224, It states that for fireworks magazines in use prior to 2002, the distances can be halved if properly barricaded. The definitions of �barricaded� and �artificial barricade� can be found on Subpart B- Definitions (page 13 of the orange book).

Best Regards,
Bob Kellner





CEO Robert T. Kellner has testified in United States Federal Court as an expert on fireworks transportation and sales and served nine years on the board of directors of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA).

Go ahead and ask your questions here