There’s progress in Brøndby’s effort to introduce pyrotechnics that would be both safe and visually impressive. Perhaps during the 2017/18 season we could see them used officially.
First public announcements about this project were released back in December, when it was already in progress for a year. Launched by Brøndby IF, their fans and supporters of other Danish teams, the initiative aims at creating safe and attractive pyrotechnics, to be accepted by both authorities and ultras.
So far they managed to create flares that produce a massive 1,500°C less in heat than regular “bengalos” used by supporters. Thanks to this achievement you can run your hand through the flame without risking injuries. If you do that with fabric, it also won’t burn/melt.
At the same time these “safe flares” release 90% less smoke than regular ones, which is crucial for TV broadcast. With current pyrotechnics it’s quite common for fans to cause significant obstruction in broadcast, sometimes even forcing the game to be stopped. With the new Danish flares this issue is almost wiped off entirely.
Official tests begin
Now the Danes from just outside Copenhagen have sent their work to Germany. There, at Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), official testing of the proposed flares is being carried out. BAM is a senior scientific and technical institute, responsible to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany. BAM’s potential positive opinion could mean significant boost for the project not only in Denmark or Germany, but the entire EU.
In Brøndby the hope is that by the summer BAM could give their green light. Then the safe flares could enter Danish stadiums, perhaps as early as this autumn. Should the idea prove successful, other countries might come next.
Where’s the light?
But even if the solution is a success in safety terms, there’s one more issue left. Safe pyrotechnics have to be bright enough for fans to actually want to use them instead of the more dangerous current equivalents. This has been the issue from the get-go, with fans pointing out that the flame simply isn’t too bright.
According to recent statement by Lasse Bauer of Brøndby IF there’s been some progress. “We are not there yet, but we have reached 70-75% of the desired light intensity”, he said.
Bauer admits the project may not prove successful in the end, but the club simply had to look for a solution. Brøndby are one of the most penalized clubs domestically, also having received a fair share of fines from UEFA over the years, almost all of them for illegal pyrotechnic displays. And simply no-one around the world managed to find a way of stopping fans from smuggling flares inside, even in countries with prison sentences among potential consequences…