WATER ROCKET SAFETY
Before moving forward to all the fun stuff, it’s important to mention safety. Even though the Bigfoot Water Rocket Launcher has abundant safety features in it’s design and construction, there are still guidelines that must be followed by the users and observers to keep this a safe experience.
- Use FRESH BOTTLES for any rocket components that will be pressurized, like the booster (first stage portion). It takes soda bottle 450 years to biodegradable, but only a year or two to start loosing it’s cross molecular strength. Extended sun exposure can cause the plastic to loose it’s elasticity, making it brittle.
- Only use SODA BOTTLES because they are designed for holding pressured carbonated drinks.
- The SKY is the only thing that you should point a rocket that. Never point a pressurized rocket at anything. Traveling at 125 m.p.h., a rocket has enough energy to do real damage.
- 12 Foot Rule - The launcher is furnished with 12 foot pull strings and 12 foot air and water hoses. After the rocket is mounted and latched onto the trigger then everyone, children and adults, participants and spectators, (and pets) must get at least 12 feet BEHIND the launcher. Preferably, the launch supervisor and persons that will be pulling the string, the person adding water, and the person adding air, (which could all be one person), are the only people at the 12 foot mark behind the launcher. All other spectators should add some more distance to be out of the way. It is considered safe to fill rockets with 100 p.s.i. with this 12 foot border.
- Wait to hear for the "ALL CLEAR” before starting the countdown. Many times NASA has problems with stray boats traveling aimlessly near the launch pad before countdown. Put someone in charge to always check for ANYTHING that could wander into the flight path and anything closer than 12 feet to the launcher. Consider obstacles like power lines, buildings, and roadways.
- Safety Goggles are recommended for participants.
- ABORTING A FLIGHT is best done by using the brass 3 way valve on the end of the 12 foot long water hose. Turn valve handle towards the unused open port to release all pressurization. Never approach a pressurized water rocket on the launcher.
- Think thin PLASTIC parts for all water rocket parts. Use a plastic booster (soda bottle), plastic nose cone (soda bottle) and plastic fins (corrugated signboard). Of course you will need adhesives (no hot melt). Metal and hard parts are not safe. "What goes up, must come down."