Special Effects Permit
Special Effects and Explosives Guidelines and Regulations

A license for pyrotechnic operators is required when using any pyrotechnic effects. All licensing and permitting requirements for the handling, supervision and discharge of pyrotechnic materials within South Carolina apply to the use of pyrotechnic materials before a proximate audience (including exterior shooting) and in enclosed assembly areas.

No person who has not actively participated in the set-up and loading of at least six proximate audience performances in which pyrotechnic special effects were used shall be granted a license. (At the option of the issuing officer, an alternative number shall be permitted to be substituted.)

No person shall be granted a license that has not met the above, and at least one of the following requirements:
• Successfully completed a comprehensive written examination covering this code and state laws pertaining to the display of proximate audience pyrotechnic special effects (exams are administered on the 1st & 3rd Friday of the month).
• Received a competency certificate from a national organization that promotes the safe use of pyrotechnic special effects and approved by the South Carolina Fire Marshal.
• Has been licensed for the use of pyrotechnic special effects by another state approved by the South Carolina Fire Marshal. The issuing officer will determine the reciprocity on a case-by-case basis.
• A letter from both the authority having jurisdiction and a licensed operator stating their satisfaction as the qualifications of the operator and approved by the South Carolina Fire Marshal.
Permits may be issued for:
• Motion Picture SFX Permit: $500 (good for one year)
• 1-30 Days Commercial Outdoor: $100

1-30 Days Proximate Audience: $250
1-180 Days Commercial Outdoor or Proximate Audience: $500
• 1-365 Days Commercial Outdoor or Proximate Audience: $1,000
Click here to access the Motion Picture Special Effects Display Permit and other pertinent applications in PDF from the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Applications for permits shall be received in the South Carolina Fire Marshal's Office 15 days prior to the performance date. Should an application be received less than 15 days prior to the performance date, the application fee is doubled.

A Certificate of Insurance, for a minimum of $1,000,000 naming The State of South Carolina and its Agents as additionally insured, should accompany the permitee's application.

For detailed explanation of the regulations, please contact Bill Galloway at the South Carolina State Fire Marshal's Office; (803) 896-9800 ; (803) 414-7003 (cell). Fax: (803) 896-9806.

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