When a film or television production uses of special effects involving any kind of fire, explosives or pyrotechnics the following local and state regulations must be followed. Additionally all productions must follow local ordinances pertaining to the use of tents and generators.
PYROTECHNICS, TENTS & GENERATORS - AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS
The Austin Fire Department (AFD) require permits and inspections and/or standby requirements associated with open flame and pyrotechnic effects, and, the inspections and approvals associated with street closures. A flame effect is the combustion of flammable solids, liquids, and/or gases to produce thermal, physical, visual or special effects for film productions. Additionally, AFD oversees the regulation of generators that are needed on most sets. Please reference the Austin Center For Events Fire Safety Page for more detail on permitting of pyrotechnics and generator requirements.
Tents that are needed for most on-location film, television and commercial shoots are also overseen by AFD. The Austin Center For Events Tent Page includes information on regulations as well as permitting requirements for tenting for events such as film shoots.
STATE OF TEXAS - FIRE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS
The State of Texas requires all technicians handling fire and pyrotechnics be licensed.
Pyrotechnic Special Effects Operator License
The person who assembles, conducts and supervises the use of pyrotechnic devices in the presence of a proximate audience must obtain a state Pyrotechnic Special Effects Operator’s license.A proximate audience may include anyone on set including non-professional actors, extras and workers other than the film crew.
Flame Effects Operator License
The person who assembles, conducts or supervises flame effects before an audience must obtain a state Flame Effects Operator’s license.
Examine & License Fees
The license application and $45.00 license fee should not be submitted until the examination has been successfully completed. Background checks are performed on all applicants, and the license will not be issued until the check is satisfactorily completed.
- Texas Department of Insurance Website - Operator License Forms
- Texas Department of Insurance Website - Firework Licensing
- Texas Department of Insurance Website - State Fire Marshal
For more information about pyrotechnic and flame effect licensing, please contact:
State Fire Marshal’s Office
Fireworks Licensing Technician