Learn to Celebrate Safely


Click Here

Highlights & News

February 2
APA urges Senate confirmation of CPSC nominees, read more

December 28
The APA urges the public to #celebratesafely this NYE!

November 2
Howard "Skip" Elliott sworn in as PHMSA Administrator, read more

September 8
President Trump nominates Howard Elliott to serve as PHMSA Administrator, learn more

June 29, 2017
APA applauds legalization of Consumer fireworks in NJ, see more

June 28, 2017
Must see July 4th Fireworks Displays, read more

June 21, 2017
The APA urges fireworks safety this July 4th, click here.

June 5, 2017
FMCSA withdraws motor carrier financial responsibility rulemaking, notice here.

April 19, 2017
APA files comments on TRALA ELD rental truck exemption application. 

March 23, 2017
FMCSA Withdraws Safety Fitness Determination Proposal, see notice here.

March 1, 2017
David Tang, K&L Gates, Asia, BBC interview on investment flows into and out of China.

February 22, 2017
Ann Marie Buerkle named Acting Chairman of the CPSC, read more.

February 2, 2017
CPSC issues Fireworks Regulations Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

January 31, 2017
Elaine Chao sworn in as Secretary of Transportation, read more.

December 19, 2016
OSHA issues final rule clarifying work-related injury reporting requirements. Click here to view.

December 16, 2016
APA looks forward to working with newly named PHMSA Associate Administrator for HazMat Safety William Schoonover.

December 8,
FMCSA issues final rule on entry-level driver training.

December 5, 2016

FMCSA issues final rule creating a CDL drug & alcohol clearinghouse.

November 23, 2016
Business group praises court decision to block overtime wage rule.

September 6, 2016
CPSC releases proposed policy on audible effects

June 30, 2016
Click here to see APA's 2016 "must see" fireworks displays for July 4th.

June 27, 2016
The APA urges fireworks safety this July 4th. 


 Highlights & News


 Robert Souza
 1930 - 2013



The fireworks industry lost one of its finest November 6 with the death of a true master pyrotechnician and safety advocate, Robert Souza, founder of Pyro Spectaculars in Rialto, California, at age 83. 

The grandson of fireworks family patriarch Manuel de Sousa, Bob rekindled the family’s early passion for fireworks which began in the 1900’s when they arrived from Portugal and began making fireworks to help celebrate Portuguese community celebrations.  Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, Bob created shows for county fairs and the 4th of July, nurturing a ferver for display fireworks which would lead him to form a new corporation with a vision of becoming a world-class fireworks production company.  In 1979 Pyro Spectaculars opened its doors in Southern California, marking the end of fireworks as a localized cottage business and the beginning of a  modern pyrotechnic enterprise that focused on creating spectacular programs that were awe-inspiring and yet safe for both the audience and the firing crew.


As result of being seriously injured during the firing of a display, Bob keenly recognized  the importance of industry safety efforts and was involved early on in designing electrical firing systems and employing regular training for all his pyrotechnicians.   Bob was involved in developing state safety standards in California and his dedication to safety led him to join the American Pyrotechnics Association in 1972.  A dynamic and well-respected leader, Bob served on the APA Board of Directors, including two terms as APA President.  One term as President fell in 1998 during which he skillfully managed the 50th Anniversary celebration of the APA at Walt Disney World in Orlando, which included a fireworks display that involved the “best of the best” fireworks companies from around the world, and produced such spectacular effects that it appeared to cause an approaching Hurricane Jacques to change its course and head away from Orlando. 


As part of his efforts to enhance the safety of fireworks display, Bob was actively involved in developing and producing the association’s widely-used Celebrate Safely video and print resources for nationwide distribution, and he was always willing to open up his facility whenever the APA needed a production site for new training materials.  At the 1998 Golden Anniversary meeting, he was awarded the Milton Dropo Award for his lifetime contributions to the American fireworks industry.


Under his leadership and that of his son Jim, Pyro Spectaculars has grown into one of the largest and most respected fireworks display companies in the world, pioneering revolutionary choreography methods and the precise firing of fireworks to music.  His vision, leadership and commitment to safety, as well as his genuine integrity and warm personality will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and many industry colleagues. 

powered by MemberClicks