How Loud Is A Firework?
When it comes to fireworks we all know they bang, pop, fizz, crackle and boom, but how loud is loud? You may be surprised to learn that sound waves could actually kill you, but as this does not happen until you are exposed to noise over 200 dB for a long period of time, there is no need to worry about your ears bleeding or lungs exploding today.
When measuring sound it is generally measured on the dB (Or decibel) scale, as sound is caused by vibration and carries energy as a wave, these sound waves can travel through almost everything, air, water, walls, glass in fact the only thing sound won't travel through is a vacuum, as sound waves come into contact with the air molecules the waves vibrate the next particles passing one to the next and so on, as there is no air to vibrate in a vacuum it doesn’t work.
The dB scale is a little strange, needing its own set of logarithms to make sense of the huge numbers involved, a whisper would measure around 15 dB whereas a jet engine taking off would expect to hit 120 dB from a hundred feet away, 120 dB is 1,000,0000,0000,0000 louder than 15 dB and not eight times louder as you may expect.
The EU guidelines for working in noisy environments, states that exposure to sound levels over an eight-hour shift should not exceed 87 dB, well below where the human bodies pain threshold kicks in around 150 dB, at around 120 dB over a long period of time is when the stereocilia in our ears is damaged causing the ringing or buzzing sound known as tinnitus. As fan of rock music, I have suffered from this in the past, as most rock concerts average around 120 dB but after a few hours the effects wear off and hearing returns to normal. So 120 dB over a short period of time won’t do any long-term damage.
As a fireworks company, we have to adhere to very strict guidelines regarding noise levels. All legal fireworks will have a label, instructions and will be either compliant to BS 7144 (part 2) or C.E marked. If you have or know of anyone that has fireworks without these labels on them we would recommend that you do not use them.
The legal limit for fireworks in the UK is 120 dB; this does not mean that all our fireworks achieve this as we purposely develop some of our fireworks to be as quiet as possible; in fact some are almost silent.
At this time of year we are just gearing up for the wedding season. Fireworks at weddings have become more and more popular each passing year as ease of use, availability and cost have all become attainable.
We supply both traditional and Asian weddings and there is a vast difference culturally. A traditional wedding couple may look at our quieter but prettier fireworks range, such as our Silver Spirals or Sorcery barrage. But when you need to make an impression, and let everyone know something special is happening, our Asian customers need something with a little more boom factor as they will be letting their fireworks off through the day which is legal. British law allows you to let off fireworks every day of the year from 7am to 11pm with extensions on special days.
Rated at 120dB (as loud as legally possible in the UK) we carry a large stock all year round or super loud Dum Bum Noise Kit, Ring of Fire and for the rocket fans Sky Hunter Rockets, these fireworks contain no pretty colours, no whooshing crackling effects, just plain simple BOOMS and are perfect for daytime use as everything in the tube is designed to make noise not colour. As these are the loudest fireworks in the UK please let your neighbours, local animal hospital, stables etc. know in advance, a little common courtesy is always good.
So, there you have it. If you have any questions about our products or indeed about safety/set up etc, please give us a call and chat with one of our technicians who will gladly address any of your concerns.