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When Shipping Fireworks Goes Wrong

Posted on 7/1/2022 by Roger Marks

This year’s Independence Day celebration started one week early in New Jersey, when a truck carrying a reported 10,000 pounds of fireworks caught fire on Route 287. No injuries were reported, and motorists stuck behind the incident were treated to an impromptu pyrotechnic display, shown in the video below from News 12 NJ.

According to reports, the fire started when a piece of equipment on the truck caught fire. Before the driver could put it out, the flames spread to the hazardous cargo.

All lanes of traffic were closed for several hours as a local task force and volunteer firefighters worked to subdue the blaze.
 

Fireworks As Hazardous Materials

Most commercial fireworks are regulated as Division 1.4G explosive materials in transportation. Like nearly all hazardous materials, Division 1.4G explosives are subject to extensive US DOT requirements for packaging, markings and labels, and documentation. Employees who prepare and handle shipments must complete required hazmat training (see 49 CFR 172.704).

Based on hazmat incident reporting data available from DOT/PHMSA, transportation incidents involving fireworks are relatively rare. Since 2010, common causes of incidents that included a release of a 1.4G material include:
  • Failure to block and brace cargo
  • Dropped packages and containers
  • Packages punctured with forklifts or sharp objects
More frequently, reported incidents involve undeclared fireworks—in other words, packages or containers that are not marked or labeled to indicate the presence of hazardous materials. These packages were often discovered at freight sorting facilities, by air carriers, or during transportation.

When Shipping Fireworks Goes Wrong

Upcoming Hazmat Training Workshops 

Develop a step-by-step process to ship hazardous materials/dangerous goods by ground and air, in full compliance with US DOT and international regulations. These upcoming workshops are built to help satisfy 49 CFR (DOT) and IATA DGR training mandates for shippers and "hazmat employees."  
 
Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT)
Hazmat Air Shipper Certification (IATA) 

  Ground Shipper (DOT)  Air Shipper (IATA)
Nashville July 13–14 July 15
Dallas July 25–26 July 27
Orlando Aug. 3–4 Aug. 5
Houston Aug. 16–17 Aug. 18
Los Angeles    Sept. 14–15 Sept. 16
Chicago Oct. 5–6 Oct. 7
 

Later this year: Hazmat training workshops come to St. Louis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Hartford in Fall/Winter 2022. Find upcoming training at Lion.com/Hazmat

US DOT requires training once every 3 years for all hazmat employees (49 CFR 172.704).
For air shippers, the IATA DGR requires training once every 2 years (IATA DGR 1.5)

Tags: DOT compliance, hazmat shipping, hazmat training, shipping fireworks

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