#47 Safe & Sane


Safe & Sane” is a designation for fireworks that are safe for the consumer, such as the sparkler in this AmperArt piece, & usually means they are legal to purchase & use.

I was sur­prised to learn that the term “safe & sane” is not a brand, as one would think (at least I did for the last 50 years), but rather a “stamp of approval” to denote the pyro safe­ty fac­tor. I was very pleased at this dis­cov­ery, for it allows this Amper­Art edi­tion to be part of my slo­gan series in addi­tion to cel­e­brat­ing the 4th of July, or Inde­pen­dence Day, in the Unit­ed States.

Here’s what Wikipedia says:

The term “Safe & Sane” fire­works became pop­u­lar in the late 1950s & 1960s as a way to describe those fire­works that don’t fly, trav­el or explode. For exam­ple, foun­tains, sparklers, snakes & smoke effects, ground spin­ners, snap pops & oth­er nov­el­ty fire­works fit this descrip­tion. How­ev­er, fire­crack­ers, rock­ets, roman can­dles, shells & oth­er aer­i­al effects are not usu­al­ly con­sid­ered safe & sane fire­works. The deter­mi­na­tion of what fire­works will bear the offi­cial “Safe & Sane” seal is deter­mined by the state & city as every juris­dic­tion has its own spe­cif­ic def­i­n­i­tion of what are con­sid­ered Safe & Sane fire­works under their laws & ordinances.

Of course, as kids we always man­aged to sneak in some fire­crack­ers, rock­ets, roman can­dles,  Pic­co­lo Petes & oth­er excit­ing, loud & dan­ger­ous pyros every 4th of July. Near­ly got my toes blown off once, though.

Here’s some good advice:

Always keep a buck­et of water near­by to com­plete­ly cool down & extin­guish your sparklers, spin­ners, foun­tains & oth­er Safe & Sane fire­works. You are still work­ing with pyrotech­nic com­pounds which include gun­pow­der & require an open flame or oth­er fuse-​lighting method. After fire­works are dis­patched, the rem­nants can remain very hot for quite some time & burn curi­ous children’s fingers.


I am fas­ci­nat­ed by all the tech­nol­o­gy at Dis­ney­land (my favorite place in the world) from the prim­i­tive cam sys­tem dri­ving the ear­ly Pirates of the Caribbean ani­ma­tron­ics to the sophis­ti­cat­ed com­put­er sys­tems synch­ing the water, sound, lights, and pyrotech­nics in Fan­tas­mic and Won­der­ful World of Color.
The oth­er day I came across an in-​depth video that describes how some of the mag­ic works at Dis­ney­land and Dis­ney World – stuff like fire­works shoot­ing to exact­ly the deter­mined height and explod­ing right on cue to the music. Each shell is shot out of its can­non not with pow­der any­more, but with a con­trolled blast of air, all com­put­er­ized (26 com­put­ers run the show at Walt Dis­ney World). And each shell has an embed­ded chip that receives a radio sig­nal that ignites it at pre­cise­ly the right moment to sync with the music. Def­i­nite­ly not Safe & Sane, but rather Sophis­ti­cat­ed and Sen­sa­tion­al! Here’s the YouTube link to that video: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​K​V​c​H​j​d​D​_​ipM. The fire­works episode starts at 44:17, but the entire pro­gram is fas­ci­nat­ing for any Dis­ney park fan.
Pro­gram: Illustrator
Orig­i­nal dimen­sions: 20″ x 30″
Font: Latin Con­densed (mod­i­fied)
Amper­sand: Illus­tra­tor star brush
Enjoy & share…

4 thoughts to “#47 Safe & Sane”

  1. Lisa, I am smil­ing at your clever pun, “ignit­ed.” My inspi­ra­tion for this piece was ignit­ed when I recalled the term “safe & sane” and then it caught fire when I read it was a slo­gan, not a brand. Oh yes, those snakes. Now you’ve remind­ed me.

  2. PS I com­plete­ly LOVE (and miss) the Dis­ney­land fire­works dis­plays, espe­cial­ly on the 4th! They don’t get any more spec­tac­u­lar than that!

  3. I love this one, Chaz! It com­plete­ly reminds me of child­hood and the sparklers my Mom and Dad would buy for my broth­er and I! Anoth­er favorite of ours were the safe and sane “snakes” that would crawl along the ground until they burned out. Life seemed fun and easy back then. What a nice mem­o­ry you’ve ignit­ed! Thank you!

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