Did you feel safe the last time you watched fireworks? You're supposed to.
Pyrotechnicians are required to submit site plans before the event to the local authorities. These site plans are supposed to include the dimensions of the discharge site, spectator viewing areas, parking areas, and the fallout area/associated separation distances. In other words, the people putting on your fireworks display are required to plan ahead how they are going to keep you safe while you enjoy the show. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has a manual of codes, diagrams, and formulas for these companies to follow when creating fireworks shows.
This diagram is a rough guideline for pyrotechnicians to follow when they are creating their plans:
The code goes on to state that no spectators or spectator parking areas shall be located within the display site.
Also, the code discusses the minimum secured diameter of the site based on the size of the fireworks to be used. They provide this table for easy calculation:
Having an over-abundance of caution on the spectator's part is a wise idea. If you think you're too close to the launch site, you may well be. The site plan may be faulty. Exercise caution when picking your viewing location at the next fireworks show, and sit further away than necessary. A mis-fired firework can seriously and critically burn you or your loved ones.
To find out more about what your legal rights are if you've been injured because of someone's negligence at a fireworks show, click here.