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Safety First in Fireworks Manufacturing

Safety First in Fireworks Manufacturing

The most important quality control factor in making fireworks is safety. Firework factories are protected from intruders by chain-link fences, barbed wire, locked gates, steel doors, and tamper-proof locks. Within these factories, numerous precautions are taken to prevent accidents.

Electricity is the greatest danger. A single small spark can set off a roomful of explosives. All electrical outlets are located outside the building. To avoid generating static electricity, all workers must wear 100% cotton clothing. They touch a copper plate before they enter a building to remove any static electricity they may be carrying. Elastic straps with wires trailing to the graphite floor are worn around the worker's calves, to drain static electricity away to grounding rods buried beneath the building. All work is halted and all workers leave the building if there is any possibility of an electrical storm approaching.

Many other safety measures are used. All work is done by hand, to avoid machines that could produce heat or sparks. In the winter, buildings are heated with hot water rather than hot air, which could cause an explosion. The buildings are small, so no one is more than one or two steps away from an exit. All exits have doors that open wide at the slightest touch. Explosive chemicals are never mixed when wet, because when they dry out they may release gases that could ignite them.

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