Kerala Pooram Festival Firecrackers Storage Design for Explosion Containment

Yesterday, I went to my native village for their annual pooram festival. There were five adorned elephants and a chenda troupe. It was great but there was no grand fireworks.

Kerala pooram festivals are famous for the fireworks shows. After a mishap few years ago, the Supreme Court and the local Communists ensured that the centuries-old practice of lighting fireworks was abandoned. The ban was placed after a mishap killed dozens of people and injured a lot more. The fallout was amplified because the firecrackers were stored under a concrete roof. This one-off event has been exploited to ban fireworks permanently.

Here is a simple design for storing firecrackers. It uses cheap local materials and does not require much more than manual labor for digging a ditch and constructing a light shed over it. A storage platform is built in the ditch using bamboo or casuarina poles. The ditch is half-filled with water so that the explosives will be submerged in case there is a fire. The water barrels and sandbangs will also absorb the force of the explosion and flood into the ditch.

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