A: You need to have been on three training displays, not necessarily with Fantastic Fireworks. As long as you can provide evidence, such as a log book, you can take the course and sit the exam.
Q: How long does a BPA qualification last?
A: 5 years. To requalify you need only sit a one-day refresher course before expiry (which includes a 3-month period of grace)
Q: What happens if my BPA qualification has lapsed?
A: You must attend the full two-day course and retake the exam.
Q: Do you also offer the BPA Senior Firer course and exam?
A: We do. Please ask for details.
Q: Do you have to take the Cat 3 course before you can attend the BPA Firer course?
A: You would not need to attend the Cat 3 course before the BPA course as they are aimed at different sets of people. The Cat 3 (1 day) course is for hobbyists or anyone who purchases publicly available retail fireworks to use for their own private events, and teaches them how to use them safely and design an effective display. The BPA Level 1 fireworka training course is aimed at those people with an interest in professional firing, using fireworks only available to professional display companies, and therefore requires a much more extensive course. Both courses give a very good understanding of health and safety considerations, firework types, set up and firing techniques, but BPA Level 1 course is a day longer and also covers the firing of shells (mortars), electrical systems and so on.
Q: Where can I get work as a professional pyrotechnician after taking the course?
A: Provided you pass the exam you can contact any firework company in your area and offer your services. The BPA firework training course and exam are recognised throughout the industry. Here at Fantastic Fireworks we are constantly adding to our pool of accredited freelance Pyrotechnicians. We do not guarantee to give you regular work as this will depend on seasonal demand, your location and availability.
Q: What sort of events could I expect to be involved with?
A: In the last few years we have performed displays for Kensington Palace, Drayton Manor Theme Park, the Foo Fighters gig at Milton Keynes Bowl, Hampton Court, Torbay Regatta, Eddie Izzard’s comedy tour, the Jorvik Viking Festival and the Isle Of Man TT Races – to name just a few. Events range from small weddings through to much larger displays such as Hatfield House’s 400th Anniversary.
Q: I live outside of the UK. Can I still attend this course?
A: Yes, provided you can show us you have been on three firework displays either as a trainee or an experienced pyrotechnician. In recent years attendees have come from all over the world including the United States, Nigeria, Malaysia, Greece and Australia. We do however suggest that if you are looking to become involved with fireworks professionally in your home country that you check local rules and restrictions as there may be other requirements you need to fulfil.
Q: If I come on your BPA course does it entitle me to buy shells?
A: No. To buy shells you need to have both licensed explosives storage and a minimum of £1 million public liability insurance. But if you become an accredited firer for Fantastic Fireworks not only will you get to fire shells, you’ll also receive a 20% discount in our fireworks shop.