Detection of fire in video for fire alarm systems has been studied by many researchers, but detection of shot boundaries under fire, flicker and explosion (FFE) is one of the under-studied areas. In thriller movies, FFE occur more often than other special effects and lead to false detection of shot boundary. We tested major metrics used for detection of shot boundaries under FFE for various movies. It is observed that for almost all metrics, precision is low due to false positives caused by FFE. We propose an algorithm based on cross-correlation coefficient, stationary wavelet transform and combination of local and adaptive thresholds for detection of shot boundaries under FFE. The proposed algorithm is tested on three movies, and experimental results validate the effectiveness of our proposed method in terms of better recall and precision. © 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited.