Garden State Fireworks Reports The Cause of the 2012 Malfunction

Garden State LogoGarden State Fireworks, Inc. is deeply saddened by the unfortunate sequence of events that lead to the
entire San Diego display to ignite simultaneously. Garden State Fireworks has been serving customers
for over 120 years and we are proud of our proven track record of providing quality and most
importantly safe fireworks displays throughout the country. The safety of our operators and the
audience is our number one priority in every event we perform and we would like to stress that at no
point before, during or after the display was there any risk of safety for our staff or the audience. Our
strict adherence to safety policies and the strength and quality of our installations allowed our
equipment to withstand the simultaneous ignition without a single threat to the structural stability of

The San Diego Big Bay Boom is one of the most logistically complex displays in the world due to the
approximate 14 mile span of the five locations involved in the display. In order to simultaneously
coordinate all locations to a radio simulcast, state of the art pyrotechnic computerized systems were

In an effort to be over-prepared for any disruptions in communications, a secondary back up computer
file was created for the display. The technical explanation of the creation and implementation of the
back-up file requires a significant understanding of the computer firing systems themselves. Basically, if
any of the five locations do not receive the initiation code, the secondary file allows each of the five
locations the opportunity to independently ‘manually’ initiate a new sequence that will allow for
seamless synchronization to all locations. Our technicians out on the barges have an independent
protocol to activate this sequence if any of the automatic test sequences don’t confirm open
communication. Both the technical aspect and logic of this failsafe are all sound implementations of
the computerized firing systems. This back up method has been executed successfully on countless
occasions by our company.

After extensive forensic analysis by the hardware and software manufacturer and our own review of our
implementation of the equipment, a full understanding of the simultaneous ignition has been achieved.
The primary and secondary files were tested ad nauseam by our technicians in the weeks and hours
leading up to the display and everything was perfect. All aspects of the display in the bay were
completed and tested two full days in advance of the production and we were completely prepared. to . “
execute as normal.   Read More (pdf)