Firecrackers: recommendations and precautions

On the last Sunday in February, in Valencia and its province, and in many villages of the Valencian Community, the 'Crida' (the call to begin the celebrations) is made to proclaim that 'The fallas have now begun!' To speak of fallas is to speak of noise and gunpowder, of firecrackers, despertàs (awkeners), mascletàs (gunpowder concerts) and fireworks castles, a deep-rooted fallera tradition, especially for children, who wait for these days over a whole year so they can light the fuses.

child care

6 March 2019



Here are some tips, uses and precautions so that you can enjoy the firecrackers in complete safety, according to the age of each child.

The first thing you should know is that the use of fireworks in unprepared places can be a serious offence, with fines ranging from €601 to €30,000. This includes throwing firecrackers at unofficial events, or at events which are not organised by a falla, or in an area delimited for fireworks.

Main precautions

-Light the firecracker on the ground, as the fuse may fail.

-Do not put firecrackers inside plastic containers or cans, which can create shrapnel.

-Do not manipulate or remove the contents of firecrackers, or use any that are broken.

-Do not keep firecrackers in your pockets, as they could explode.

-Always respect the safety distance.

-If a firecracker does not light well, you should not touch it or pick it up, and you should never pick up the remains of other fireworks.

Firecrackers and children

Children must carry a written authorisation from their parents or guardians certifying that they have received the necessary training, which may be required by the competent authority.  In addition, for the awakenings, when 'tróns de bac' are thrown, it is obligatory to obtain a consumer certificate which recognises the holder as an expert (CRE).

It is also recommended to buy the firecrackers in authorised places, as it is forbidden to sell them on the street or in single units. And look at the label, which must be in Spanish including the following:

- Name and address of manufacturer or importer
-Name and type of item
-Minimum age and corresponding category
-Instructions for use
-Year of production (for categories 3 and 4)
-And, if applicable, the minimum safety distance.

Petardos: recomendaciones y precauciones

Firecrackers by age

Minors may only throw category 1 and 2 firecrackers. Below we explain what the categories are, according to age:

- Category 1: 8 years. Very low hazard and low noise firecrackers, such as flares, smoke balls, bomblets, fountains.
- Category 2: 10 years. Low hazard and low noise level such as wick thunder, Chinese, whistle and thunder, ‘correcamas’, whirlwind rotation or class II sources.
- Category 3: 18 years. Items of medium hazard, to be discharged on a large spaces and whose noise level is not harmful to health.
- Category 4: Highly dangerous fireworks intended for use by experts only, also referred to as "fireworks for professional use".

Petardos: recomendaciones y precauciones

Firecrackers and pets

The hearing of dogs, cats and animals in general, is much more sensitive than that of humans, so loud sounds could damage their eardrums. In addition, a loud or sudden noise, like that of a firecracker, means a change, a sudden alteration to the environment for our pets who are accustomed to routine. Depending on the type of animal, they may suffer from tachycardia, tremors, shortness of breath, salivation, nausea or light-headedness.

Some precautions:

Dogs and cats

- If they are going to be left alone, it is preferable to leave him inside the house, in a room where they feel comfortable and safe, with their toys, their 'bed' and lots of water.

- You should place its collar tightly around their neck so that it cannot catch on anything and choke.

- In the case of dogs, it is recommended that an hour before the firecrackers or fireworks start that they get plenty of exercise and then eat their favourite food, so that they are relaxed. And if you are going to take your dog out to the street, avoid the hour of greatest noise and always keep him on a  lead to prevent him escaping.