Canadian Rocket Store


Model Rocket Safety Code

Model rocketry is a safe and widespread hobby provided the safety codes are followed. But it is not without risks; the following safety code and safety measures are the primary means of mitigating those risks.

Get familiar with NAR/CAR safety code and additional safety measures. We urge you to observe and when prudent, exceed the recommendations every time you fly.

  • Prepare the recovery system with due care to assure that it will properly deploy.
  • Do preflight inspections of every rocket. Be especially careful with complex rockets. Pay special attention to the recovery system.
  • Add to the safe distance standards when lots of observers are present
  • Model rocket must be launched from a stable platform. Make sure launch controllers and ignition methods are appropriate for the motor(s) being used. To protect yourself and others from eye injury, position the launch rod or rail so that the upper end is above eye level, or else place a large guard on the upper end between launches.
  • Tilt your launch guides away from people: plan to have good flights, but also plan for bad flights to end in safe places. If rockets are flying over spectators, stop and fix the problem.
  • Use the following table to determine minimum launch site dimensions and safe distance to the rocket:

    Installed Total
    Impulse (N-sec)
    Motor Type
    Minimum Site
    Minimum Safe
    distance to the Rocket
    Feet Meters Feet Meters
    0 – 1.25 1/4A, 1/2A 50 15 15 5
    1.26 – 2.5 A 100 30 15 5
    2.51 – 5.0 B 200 60 15 5
    5.01 – 10.0 C 400 120 15 5
    10.01 – 20.0 D 500 150 15 5
    20.01 – 40.0 E 1000 300 30 10
    40.01 – 80.0 F 1000 300 30 10
    80.01 – 160 G 1500 450 40 15

CAR Rocketry Safety Code.

1) CONSTRUCTION. I will always build my model rocket using only lightweight materials such as paper, wood, plastics or rubber without any metal airframe components. My model shall include aerodynamic surfaces or a mechanism to assure a safe, stable flight.

2) MOTORS. I will only use rocket motors and reloads approved by Natural Resources Canada, Explosives Regulatory Division (NRC/ERD). I will store these motors in a safe and secure manner as described by the manufacturer and NRC/ERD. I will never subject these motors to excessive shock or extremes of temperature. I will not attempt to use, alter, or reload commercial rocket motors, except as instructed by the manufacturer.

3) RECOVERY. My model rocket will always use a recovery system to return it safely to the ground so that my model rocket may be reflown. I shall prepare the recovery system with due care to assure that it will properly deploy.

4) WEIGHT LIMITS. My model rocket will not weigh more than 1500 grams at lift-off, and the model rocket engine(s) will contain no more than 125 grams of propellant and produce no more than 160 N-s combined total-impulse.

5) FIRING SYSTEM. I will always use a remote electrical system to ignite the model rocket engine(s). My firing system will include an ignition switch that returns to "off" when released, and a safety interlock to prevent accidental ignition. I will never leave the safety interlock key in my firing system between launches.

6) LAUNCH SYSTEM. My model rocket will always be launched from a stable platform having a device to initially guide its motion. My launcher will have a jet deflector to prevent motor exhaust from directly contacting the ground. To protect myself and other from eye injury, I will position the launch rod or rail so that the upper end is above eye level, or else I will place a large guard on the upper end between launches.

7) LAUNCH SITE. I will never launch my model rockets near buildings or power lines, into clouds, or become a hazard to aviation. The area immediately around the launch system will be cleared of any flammable materials. I will always obtain the permission of the launch site owner prior to using the launch site for my model rocket activities.

8) LAUNCH CONDITIONS. I will never launch model rockets in high winds or in conditions of low visibility which may impair the observation of my model rocket in flight, or in a direction below 30 degrees from the vertical.

9) LAUNCH SAFETY. I will remain at least 5 metres away from any model about to be launched. I will always announce to persons within the launch site that I am about to launch my model rocket, and I shall give a loud countdown of at least 5 seconds duration. I shall immediately remove the safety interlock key from my firing system after the launch of my model rocket.

10) MISFIRES. In the event of an ignition misfire, I shall not immediately approach my model rocket, but remove the safety interlock key and remain back for a safe period until assured that no ignition will occur.

11) ANIMAL PAYLOADS. I will never endanger live animals by launching them in my model rocket.

12) TARGETS. I will never launch my rocket so that it will fall on, or strike, ground or air targets. Nor will I include any explosive or incendiary payload.

13) HAZARDOUS RECOVERY. I will never attempt to recover my model rocket from a power line, high place, a tree, or other dangerous location.

14) PRE FLIGHT TESTS. Whenever possible, I will always test the stability, operation and reliability of my model rocket designs prior to flight. I will launch unproven designs in complete isolation from other persons.

15) PERSONAL CONDUCT. I will always conduct myself in a responsible manner, conscious that the maintenance of safety for myself and other rests with my ability to design and construct sound working models, and to enthusiastically abide by the CAR Model Rocket Safety Code.

Copyright 2009 - The Canadian Association of Rocketry