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Fireworks

Fireworks

Overview

Fireworks are a class of explosive
Explosive material
An explosive material, also called an explosive, is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure...

 pyrotechnic
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

 devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places.
Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti
Confetti
Confetti is a multitude of pieces of paper, mylar or metallic material which is usually thrown at parades and celebrations, especially weddings . Confetti is made in a variety of colors, and commercially available confetti is available in imaginative shapes...

 for example).
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Encyclopedia

Fireworks are a class of explosive
Explosive material
An explosive material, also called an explosive, is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure...

 pyrotechnic
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

 devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places.
Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti
Confetti
Confetti is a multitude of pieces of paper, mylar or metallic material which is usually thrown at parades and celebrations, especially weddings . Confetti is made in a variety of colors, and commercially available confetti is available in imaginative shapes...

 for example). They may be designed to burn with flames and sparks of many colors, typically red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.

The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where they were invented. The fireworks were used to accompany many festivities. It is a part of the culture of China and had its origin there, eventually it spread to other cultures and societies. Important events and festivities such as the Spring Festival
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 (Chinese New Year) and the Mid-Autumn Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival , also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. A description of the festival first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou...

 were and still are times when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world.

Fireworks are generally classified as to where they perform, either as a ground or aerial firework. In the latter case they may provide their own propulsion
Air propulsion
Air propulsion is the generation of thrust during flight by an aircraft or a creature such as a bird, bat or insect.-Aircraft:An aircraft propulsion system must serve two purposes. First, the thrust from the propulsion system must balance the drag of the airplane when the airplane is cruising...

 (skyrocket
Skyrocket
A skyrocket is a type of firework that uses a solid rocket motor to rise quickly into the sky. At the apex of its ascent, it is usual for a variety of effects to be emitted...

) or be shot into the air by a mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

 (aerial shell). The most common feature of fireworks is a paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 or pasteboard tube or casing filled with the combustible
Combustion
Combustion or burning is the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species. The release of heat can result in the production of light in the form of either glowing or a flame...

 material, often pyrotechnic stars. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of sparkling shapes, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework, although the first skyrockets were used in war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

. Such rocket
Rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 technology has also been used for the delivery of mail by rocket
Rocket mail
Rocket mail is the delivery of mail by rocket or missile. The rocket would land by deploying an internal parachute upon arrival. It has been attempted by various organizations in many different countries, with varying levels of success...

 and is used as propulsion for most model rocket
Model rocket
A model rocket is a small rocket that is commonly advertised as being able to be launched by anybody, to, in general, low altitudes and recovered by a variety of means....

s. The aerial shell is the backbone of today's commercial aerial display. A smaller version for consumer use is known as the festival ball in the United States. Ground fireworks, although less popular than aerial ones, create a stunning exhibition. These types of fireworks can produce various shapes, ranging from simple rotating circles, stars and 3D globes.

History






Fireworks date back to the 7th century and originated in China. The Chinese developed many different kinds of fireworks with a variety of effects and color. The art and science of firework making developed into an independent profession. In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, pyrotechnicians were respected for their knowledge of complex techniques in mounting firework displays.

During the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960-1279), many of the common people could purchase various kinds of fireworks from market vendors, and grand displays of fireworks were also known to be held. In 1110, a large fireworks display in a martial demonstration was held to entertain Emperor Huizong of Song (r. 1100-1125) and his court. A record from 1264 states that a rocket-propelled firework went off near the Empress Dowager
Empress Dowager
Empress Dowager was the title given to the mother of a Chinese, Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese emperor.The title was also given occasionally to another woman of the same generation, while a woman from the previous generation was sometimes given the title of Grand empress dowager. Numerous empress...

 Gong Sheng and startled her during a feast held in her honor by her son Emperor Lizong of Song
Emperor Lizong of Song
Emperor Lizong 理宗 was the 14th emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, and the fifth emperor of the Southern Song. His personal name was Zhao Yun . He reigned from 1224 to 1264. His temple name means "Reasonable Ancestor"...

 (r. 1224–1264). Rocket propulsion was common in warfare, as evidenced by the Huolongjing
Huolongjing
The Huolongjing is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji of the early Ming Dynasty in China...

compiled by Liu Ji (1311–1375) and Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu was a Chinese military officer loyal to Zhu Yuanzhang , the founder of the Ming Dynasty . He was entrusted by Emperor Hongwu as a leading artillery officer for the rebel army that overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, and established the Ming Dynasty...

 (fl. c. 1350–1412). In 1240 the Arabs acquired knowledge of gunpowder and its uses from China. A Syrian named Hasan al-Rammah wrote of rockets, fireworks, and other incendiaries, using terms that suggested he derived his knowledge from Chinese sources, such as his references to fireworks as "Chinese flowers".

Amédée-François Frézier
Amédée-François Frézier
Amédée-François Frézier was a French military engineer, mathematician, spy, and explorer who is best remembered for bringing back five specimens of Fragaria chiloensis, the beach strawberry, from an assignment in South America, thus introducing this New World fruit to the Old.-Family...

 published a "Treatise on Fireworks" in 1706, covering the recreational and ceremonial uses of fireworks, rather than their military uses. The book became a standard text for fireworks makers.

Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed by George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

 in 1749 to celebrate the peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen—Aix-la-Chapelle in French—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on 24 April 1748...

, which had been declared the previous year.

Safety



Improper use of fireworks may be dangerous, both to the person operating them (risks of burns
Burn (injury)
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns affect only the skin . Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured...

 and wound
Wound
A wound is a type of injury in which skin is torn, cut or punctured , or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion . In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.-Open:...

s) and to bystanders; in addition, they may start fires after landing on flammable material. For this reason, the use of fireworks is generally legally restricted. Display fireworks are restricted by law for use by professionals; consumer items, available to the public, are smaller versions containing limited amounts of explosive material to reduce potential danger.
Fireworks may pose a problem for animals, both domestic and wild, who can be terrified by the noise, leading to them running away or hurting themselves on fences or in other ways in an attempt to escape.

Competitions


Pyrotechnical competitions involving fireworks are held in many countries. One of the most prestigious fireworks competition is the Montreal Fireworks Festival
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, also known as the Montreal Fireworks Festival, is a major international fireworks competition. It has been held yearly in La Ronde over the Dolphins lake, since 1985, and is named after its main sponsor, Loto-Québec...

, an annual competition held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Another magnificent competition is Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique held in the summer annually at the Bay of Cannes in Côte d'Azur, France. The World Pyro Olympics
World Pyro Olympics
The World Pyro Olympics is an annual competition amongst the most prestigious fireworks companies in the world. The event is one of the largest and most intense international fireworks competitions of the world....

 is an annual competition amongst the top fireworks companies in the world. It is held in Manila, Philippines. The event is one of the largest and most intense international fireworks competitions.

Largest Catherine wheel


A self-propelled vertical firework wheel was designed by The Lily Fireworks Factory and fired for at least one revolution on the eve of the annual festival of Our Lady Of The Lilies. The Lily Fireworks Factory, Mqabba, Malta currently possess this record, burning a Catherine Wheel with a diameter of 32.044 m (105 ft 1.56 in), on June 18th, 2011.

Largest firework display


The record for the largest firework display consisted of 66,326 fireworks and was achieved by Macedo'S Pirotecnia Lda. in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, on 31 December 2006.

Longest firework waterfall


The world's longest firework waterfall was the 'Niagara Falls', which measured 3,517.23 m (11,539 ft 5 in) when ignited on 23 August 2008 at the Ariake Seas Fireworks Festival, Fukuoka, Japan.

Most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds


The most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds is 125,801, in an attempt organised by Pyroworks International Inc. (Philippines), in Cebu, Philippines, on 8 May 2010.

Largest firework rocket


The largest firework rocket is 13.40 kg (29.53 lb) and was produced and launched by Associaçao Nacional de Empresas de Produtos Explosivos (Portugal) at the 12th International Symposium on Fireworks in Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, on 13 October 2010.

Clubs


Enthusiasts in the United States have formed clubs which unite hobbyists and professionals. The groups provide safety instruction and organize meetings and private “shoots” at remote premises where members shoot commercial fireworks as well as fire pieces of their own manufacture. Clubs secure permission to fire items otherwise banned by state or local ordinances. Competition among members and between clubs, demonstrating everything from single shells to elaborate displays choreographed to music, are held.
One of the oldest clubs is CrackerJacks, Inc., organized in 1976 in the Eastern Seaboard region of the U.S.

Pyrotechnics Guild International


The Pyrotechnics Guild International
Pyrotechnics Guild International
The Pyrotechnics Guild International or PGI founded in 1969 is an independent worldwide nonprofit organization of amateur and professional fireworks enthusiasts. Its membership is the largest pyrotechnic community in the world....

, Inc. or PGI, founded in 1969, is an independent worldwide nonprofit organization of amateur and professional fireworks enthusiasts. It is notable for its large number of members, around 3,500 in total. The PGI exists solely to further the safe usage and enjoyment of both professional grade and consumer grade fireworks while both advancing the art and craft of pyrotechnics and preserving its historical aspects. Each August the PGI conducts its annual week-long convention, where some the world's biggest and best fireworks displays occur. Vendors, competitors, and club members come from around the USA and from various parts of the globe to enjoy the show and to help out at this all-volunteer event. Aside from the nightly firework shows, the competition is a highlight of the convention. This is a completely unique event where individual classes of hand-built fireworks are competitively judged, ranging from simple fireworks rockets to extremely large and complex aerial shells. Some of the biggest, best, most intricate fireworks displays in the United States take place during the convention week.

Amateur and professional members can come to the convention to purchase fireworks, paper goods, novelty items, non-explosive chemical components and much more at the PGI trade show. Before the nightly fireworks displays and competitions, club members have a chance to enjoy open shooting of any and all legal consumer or professional grade fireworks, as well as testing and display of hand-built fireworks. The week ends with the Grand Public Display on Friday night, which gives the chosen display company a chance to strut their stuff in front of some of the world's biggest fireworks aficionados. The stakes are high and much planning is put into the show. In 1994 a shell of 36 inches (914.4 mm) in diameter was fired during the convention, more
than twice as large as the largest shell usually seen in the USA, and shells as large as 24 inches (609.6 mm) are frequently fired.

Halloween


In Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 (both the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

), during the Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 season, there are many fireworks displays. The largest are in the cities of Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

 and Dublin. In 2010, the Halloween fireworks display in Derry captivated an audience of over 20,000 people. The sale of fireworks is strongly restricted in the Republic of Ireland, though many illegal fireworks are sold throughout October or smuggled over the Northern Ireland border (where there is a large black market for fireworks). In the Republic, the punishment for possessing fireworks without a licence is a €10,000 fine for possessing them, and/or a five year prison sentence. The punishment for having or lighting fireworks in a public place is the same.

Both fireworks and firecrackers are a popular tradition during Halloween in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, although apparently this is not the custom elsewhere in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The two known firework displays used during All Hallows' Eve in the United States are the annual "Happy Hallowishes
HalloWishes
HalloWishes is a fireworks show that takes place during "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park...

" show at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom Park is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, Florida. The first park built at the resort, Magic Kingdom opened Oct. 1, 1971. Designed and built by WED Enterprises, the park's layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland in Anaheim, California...

 "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a separate-admission Halloween-themed event held annually during the months of September and October at the Magic Kingdom theme park of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, outside Orlando, and at Disneyland Paris Resort outside Paris,...

" event, which began in 2005, and the "Halloween Screams
Halloween Screams
Halloween Screams is a fireworks show that takes place during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.-History:...

" at Disneyland Park, which began on the 25 September 2009.

Fireworks celebrations throughout the world



Japanese fireworks festivals


During the summer in Japan, are held nearly every day someplace in the country, in total numbering more than 200 during August. The festivals consist of large fireworks shows, the largest of which use between 100,000 and 120,000 rounds (Tondabayashi, Osaka
Tondabayashi, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 120,483 and the density of 3,040 persons per km². The total area is 39.66 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1950....

), and can attract more than 800,000 spectators. Street vendors set up stalls to sell various drinks and staple Japanese food (such as Yakisoba
Yakisoba
', literally "fried noodles", is a dish often sold at festivals in Japan, but originates in China. The dish was derived by the Chinese from the traditional chow mein, but has been more heavily integrated into Japanese cuisine like ramen...

, Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki
is a Japanese dish containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked" . Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the...

, Takoyaki
Takoyaki
is a popular ball-shaped Japanese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan...

, kakigori
Kakigori
is a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and condensed milk.Popular flavors include: strawberry, cherry, lemon, green tea, grape, melon, "Blue Hawaii," sweet plum, and colorless syrup. Some shops provide colorful varieties by using two or more different syrups. To sweeten kakigōri,...

 (shaved ice), and traditionally held festival games, such as Kingyo-sukui, or Goldfish scooping
Goldfish scooping
is a Japanese traditional game in which a player scoops goldfish with a special scooper. It is also called, "Scooping Goldfish", "Dipping for Goldfish" or "Snatching Goldfish". "Kingyo" means goldfish and "sukui" means scooping. Sometimes bouncy balls are substituted for goldfish. Japanese summer...

.

Even today, men and women attend these events wearing the traditional Yukata
Yukata
A is a Japanese garment, a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton. People wearing yukata are a common sight in Japan at fireworks displays, bon-odori festivals, and other summer events. The yukata is also frequently worn after bathing at traditional Japanese inns...

, summer Kimono
Kimono
The is a Japanese traditional garment worn by men, women and children. The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" , has come to denote these full-length robes...

, or Jinbei
Jinbei
200 px|thumb|Boy's stylish JinbeiA jinbei , sometimes referred to as hippari, is a kind of traditional Japanese clothing worn by men, women, boys, girls, and even babies during the summer. Women's jinbei have started to become popular in recent years.-Use:Jinbei are usually worn as a form of...

 (men only), collecting in large social circles of family or friends to sit picnic-like, eating and drinking, while watching the show.

The first fireworks festival in Japan was held in 1733.

Indian fireworks celebrations


North and South Indians throughout the world celebrate with fireworks as part of their popular "festival of lights" (Diwali
Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

) in Oct-Nov every year. Quieter varieties of
fireworks are more popular for this festival.

Singapore fireworks celebrations





The Singapore Fireworks Celebrations (previously the Singapore Fireworks Festival) is an annual event held in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 as part of its National Day
National Day
The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler . Often the day is not called "National Day"...

 celebrations. The festival features local and foreign teams which launch displays on different nights. While currently non-competitive in nature, the organizer has plans to introduce a competitive element in the future.

The annual festival has grown in magnitude, from 4,000 rounds used in 2004, 6,000 in 2005, to over 9,100 in 2006.

United Kingdom fireworks festivals


One of the biggest occasions for fireworks in the UK is Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

 held each year on 5 November, while the biggest in Northern Ireland takes place at Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

. Guy Fawkes Night is a celebration of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot
Gunpowder Plot
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.The plan was to blow up the House of...

 on 5 November 1605, an attempt to kill King James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

.

Britain's Biggest Fireworks Events (as of 30 October 2008):
Battle
Battle, East Sussex
Battle is a small town and civil parish in the local government district of Rother in East Sussex, England. It lies south southeast of London, east of Brighton and east of the county town of Lewes...

 Fireworks, East Sussex

Hastings Fireworks, East Sussex

After Dark
After Dark
After Dark is a series of computer screensaver software introduced in 1989 by Berkeley Systems for the Apple Macintosh, and later for Microsoft Windows....

 fireworks, Sheffield

Sparks in the Park
Sparks in the Park
Sparks in the Park is an annual fireworks display held each year on or around Guy Fawkes Night in Cardiff, Wales.The event takes place in Cooper's Field in Bute Park, behind Cardiff Castle...

 (Cardiff Round Table charity fireworks), Cardiff

Flaming Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary
Ottery St Mary
Ottery St Mary, known as "Ottery" , is a town in the East Devon district of Devon, England, on the River Otter, about ten miles east of Exeter on the B3174. It is part of a large civil parish of the same name, which also covers the villages of West Hill, Metcombe, Fairmile, Alfington, Tipton St...


Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 Fireworks, London

Fireworks with Vikings
Tutbury Castle
Tutbury Castle is a largely ruinous medieval castle at Tutbury, Staffordshire, England, in the ownership of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is a Grade I listed building...

, Tutbury, Staffordshire

Bangers on the Beach (Holyhead Round Table charity fireworks), Holyhead
Holyhead
Holyhead is the largest town in the county of Anglesey in the North Wales. It is also a major port adjacent to the Irish Sea serving Ireland....


Bught Park
Bught Park
Bught Park is the largest park in the city of Inverness, Scotland, and is situated on the western bank of the River Ness. It is home to the Inverness Highland Games and a small scale outdoor music festival. It is located next to the city's sports centre, swimming pool and BMX track...

 fireworks, Inverness

Glasgow Green
Glasgow Green
Glasgow Green is a park situated in the east end of Glasgow on the north bank of the River Clyde. It is the oldest park in the city dating back to the 15th century.In 1450, King James II granted the land to Bishop William Turnbull and the people of Glasgow...

 fireworks

Halloween Happening fireworks, Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...


Midsummer Common
Midsummer Common
Midsummer Common is an area of common land in central Cambridge, UK. The Cambridge Midsummer Fair held on the common is one of the oldest fairs in the UK and at one point was among England's largest...

, Cambridge


There are many firework societies in the counties of East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

 and West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 which were at one time a single county. The societies predate the county boundary changes and are still known collectively as Sussex Bonfire Societies
Sussex Bonfire Societies
The Sussex Bonfire Societies are responsible for the series of bonfire festivals around Central/Eastern Sussex along with parts of Surrey and Kent from September - November....

.

United States fireworks celebrations


America's earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Fireworks and black ash were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. The very first celebration of Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

 was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

's inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

In 1999, Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Lake Buena Vista is a city in Orange County, Florida, United States. It is mostly known for being home to the Walt Disney World Resort. It is one of two Florida municipalities controlled by The Walt Disney Company, the other being Bay Lake....

, pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air
Compressed air
Compressed air is air which is kept under a certain pressure, usually greater than that of the atmosphere. In Europe, 10 percent of all electricity used by industry is used to produce compressed air, amounting to 80 terawatt hours consumption per year....

 rather than gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 for the Epcot
Epcot
Epcot is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named...

 night time spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is an award-winning night time show performed nightly at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. The show utilizes fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser lights, fountains, and fire to create a visual production on the park's World Showcase Lagoon...

. The display shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air launch are a reduction in fumes, and much greater accuracy in height and timing.

The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States. Currently, the largest annual pyrotechnic display in North America is Thunder Over Louisville
Thunder Over Louisville
Thunder Over Louisville, the annual kickoff event of the Kentucky Derby Festival, is an airshow and fireworks display held in mid April in Louisville, Kentucky...

 which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival
Kentucky Derby Festival
The Kentucky Derby Festival is an annual festival held in Louisville, Kentucky during the two weeks preceding the first Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby...

.

Uses other than public displays


Consumer fireworks are fireworks the general public can buy. They typically have less explosive power than professional fireworks, but can still produce an acceptable show. Some examples of consumer fireworks are firecrackers, rockets, cakes (multishot aerial fireworks) and smoke balls.

Fireworks can also be used in an agricultural capacity as bird scarer
Bird scarer
A bird scarer is any one of a number devices designed to scare birds, usually employed by farmers to dissuade birds from eating recently planted arable crops....

s.

Fireworks classifications in the United States


The United States government has classified fireworks and similar devices according to their potential hazards.


Previous US Department of Transportation explosives classifications


Explosives, including fireworks, were previously divided into three classifications for transportation purposes by the DOT.
  • Class A explosives included high explosives such as dynamite
    Dynamite
    Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

    , TNT, blasting cap
    Blasting cap
    A blasting cap is a small sensitive primary explosive device generally used to detonate a larger, more powerful and less sensitive secondary explosive such as TNT, dynamite, or plastic explosive....

    s, packages of flash powder
    Flash powder
    Flash powder is a pyrotechnic composition, a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel, which burns quickly and if confined produces a loud report. It is widely used in theatrical pyrotechnics and fireworks and was once used for flashes in photography.Different varieties of flash powder are made from...

    , bulk packages of black powder and blasting agents such as ANFO
    ANFO
    ANFO is a widely used bulk industrial explosive mixture. It consists of 94 percent porous prilled ammonium nitrate , that acts as the oxidizing agent and absorbent for the fuel — six percent Number 2 Fuel Oil...

     and other slurry types of explosives.
  • Class B explosives included low explosives such as "display fireworks" which were the larger and more powerful fireworks used at most public displays.
  • Class C explosives included other low explosives such as igniters, fuses and "common fireworks", which were the smaller and less powerful fireworks available for sale to and use by the general public.


At the time most purchases and use of all of these explosives, with specific exceptions for high explosives purchased and used in state, black powder used for sporting purposes and common fireworks, required either a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) license or permit to purchase and use, and/or a state or local license or permit to purchase and use.

New explosives classes


The U.S. government now uses the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 explosives shipping classification system
Explosives shipping classification system
The matrix of the various United Nations Explosives shipping classification system and typical uses. Each classification consists of a Class Number that indicates the shipping hazard and a Compatibility group suffix describing the type of material in general. This is not to be relied upon for the...

. This new system is based on hazard in shipping only, vs. the old USA system of both shipping and use hazards. The BATF and most states performed a direct substitution of Shipping Class 1.3 for Class B, and Shipping Class 1.4 for Class C. This allows some hazardous items that would have previously been classified as Class B and regulated to be classified as Shipping Class 1.4 due to some packaging method that confines any explosion to the package. Being Shipping Class 1.4, they can now be sold to the general public and are unregulated by the BATF.

A code number and suffix (such as 1.3G) is not enough to fully describe a material and how it is regulated, especially in Shipping Class 1.4G. It also must have a UN Number that exactly describes the material. For example, common consumer fireworks are UN0336, or Shipping Class 1.4G UN0336.

Here are some common fireworks classes:
  • Class 1.1G (Mass Explosion Possible:Pyrotechnics) UN0094 Flashpowder
  • Class 1.1G (Mass Explosion Possible:Pyrotechnics) UN0333 Fireworks (Salutes in bulk or in manufacture)
  • Class 1.2G (Projection but not mass explosion:Pyrotechnics) UN0334 Fireworks (Rarely used)
  • Class 1.3G (Fire, Minor Blast:Pyrotechnics) UN0335 Fireworks (Most Display Fireworks) Current federal law states that without appropriate ATF license/permit, the possession or sale of any display/professional fireworks is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
    • Any ground salute
      Salute (pyrotechnics)
      In pyrotechnics a salute is a device primarily designed to make a loud report , and may or may not have a visual effect. Most salutes will also have a very bright flash and are made from many different formulas depending on manufacturer and desired effect. They may have aluminum, antimony,...

       device with over 50 milligrams (0.0018 oz) of explosive composition
    • Torpedoes (except for railroad signaling use)
    • Multi-tube devices containing over 500 grams (17.6 oz) of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
    • Any multiple tube fountains with over 500 grams (17.6 oz) of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
    • Any reloadable aerial shells over 1.75" diameter
    • Display shells
    • Any single-shot or reloadable aerial shell/mine/comet/tube with over 60 grams (2.1 oz) of pyrotechnic composition
    • Any Roman candle or rocket with over 20 grams (0.7 oz) of pyrotechnic composition
    • Any aerial salute with over 130 milligrams (0.0046 oz) of explosive composition
  • Class 1.4G (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package:Pyrotechnics) UN0336 Fireworks (Consumer or Common Fireworks) Most popular consumer fireworks sold in the US.
    • Reloadable aerial shells 1.75" or less sold in a box with not more than 12 shells and one launching tube
    • Single-shot aerial tubes
    • Bottle rocket
      Bottle rocket
      A bottle rocket is a very small skyrocket. A typical bottle rocket consists of a rocket engine attached to a stabilizing stick. The user can place the stick in an empty bottle , and ignite the rocket engine; the mouth of the bottle guides the stick, stabilizing the rocket in its first moments of...

      s
    • Skyrocket
      Skyrocket
      A skyrocket is a type of firework that uses a solid rocket motor to rise quickly into the sky. At the apex of its ascent, it is usual for a variety of effects to be emitted...

      s and missiles
    • Ground spinners, pinwheels and helicopters
    • Flare
      Flare (pyrotechnic)
      A flare, also sometimes called a fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. Flares are used for signalling, illumination, or defensive countermeasures in civilian and military applications...

      s & fountains
    • Roman candles
    • Smoke and novelty items
    • Multi-shot aerial devices, or "cakes
      Cake (firework)
      A cake firework, also known as a multiple tube device is a firework comprising a series of roman candles, small aerial shells, or a combination of both, connected together by a high-speed fuse. Typically, the internal fusing is set to fire each tube in series, or to fire several tubes at the same...

      "
    • Firecracker
      Firecracker
      A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

       packs (see this link for various brand/label images). Although some firecracker items may be called "M-80's
      M-80 (explosive)
      M-80s are a class of large firecrackers, sometimes called salutes. The Simulator, Artillery, M80, was originally made in the early 20th century by the U.S. Military to simulate explosives or artillery fire; Later, M-80s were manufactured as fireworks...

      ", "M-1000's", "Cherry bomb
      Cherry bomb
      Cherry Bombs are approximately spherical shaped exploding fireworks, ranging in size from three-quarters-inch to one-and-one-half-inch in diameter...

      s" or "Silver Salutes" by the manufacturer, they must contain less than 50 milligrams (0.0018 oz) of flash or other explosive powder in order to be legally sold to consumers in the United States.
    • Sparkler
      Sparkler
      A sparkler is a type of hand-held firework that burns slowly while emitting colored flames, sparks, and other effects.In the United Kingdom, a sparkler is often used by children at bonfire and fireworks displays on Guy Fawkes Night, the fifth of November, and in the United States on Independence...

      s
    • Catherine wheel
      Catherine wheel (firework)
      The Catherine wheel is a type of firework consisting of a powder-filled spiral tube, or an angled rocket mounted with a pin through its centre...

    • black snakes and strobes
    • Mines
  • Class 1.4S (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package: Packed As To Not Hinder Nearby Firefighters) UN0336 Fireworks (Consumer or Common Fireworks)
  • Class 1.4G (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package:Pyrotechnics) UN0431 ARTICLES, PYROTECHNIC for technical purposes (Proximate Pyrotechnics)
  • Class 1.4S (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package: Packed As To Not Hinder Nearby Firefighters) UN0432 ARTICLES, PYROTECHNIC for technical purposes (Proximate Pyrotechnics)


Fireworks tubes are made by rolling thick paper tightly around a former, such as a dowel. They can be made by hand, most firework factories use machinery to manufacture tubes. Whenever tubes are used in fireworks, at least one end is always plugged with clay to keep both chemicals and burning gases from escaping through that end. The tooling is always made of non-sparking materials such as aluminium or brass. Experts at handling explosives, called pyrotechnicians, add chemicals for special effects.

British fireworks classification


Britain has its own system of classifying fireworks.
  • Category 1 - indoor fireworks, for use in small areas.

  • Category 2 - garden fireworks; must be safely viewable from 5 meters (16 ft 5 in) and must not scatter debris beyond 3 meters (9 ft 10 in).

  • Category 3 - display fireworks; must be safely viewable from 25 meters (82 ft) and must not scatter debris beyond 50 meters (164 ft).

  • Category 4 - professional fireworks; a person must have adequate insurance and storage to purchase and use these fireworks. Insurance can only be obtained once they have a knowledge of the safe use and storage of Category 4 fireworks. There is no such thing as a "license" to buy or use Category 4 fireworks.

Pyrotechnic compounds




Colors in fireworks are usually generated by pyrotechnic star
Pyrotechnic star
Pyrotechnic stars are pellets or simply pieces of pyrotechnic composition which may contain metal powders, salts or other compounds that, when ignited, burn a certain colour or exude a spark effect. They are a part of all projectile-type fireworks. The most common is the aerial shell. When...

s
—usually just called stars—which produce intense light when ignited. Stars contain five basic types of ingredients.
  • A fuel which allows the star to burn
  • An oxidizer—a compound which produces (usually) oxygen to support the combustion of the fuel
  • Color-producing chemicals
  • A binder which holds the pellet together.
  • A chlorine donor which provides chlorine
    Chlorine
    Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

     to strengthen the color of the flame. Sometimes the oxidizer can serve this purpose.


Some of the more common color-producing compounds
Pyrotechnic colorant
A pyrotechnic colorant is a chemical compound which causes a flame to burn with a particular color. These are used to create the colors in pyrotechnic compositions like fireworks and colored fires. The color-producing species are usually created from other chemicals during the reaction. Metal salts...

 are tabulated here. The color of a compound in a firework will be the same as its color in a flame test
Flame test
A flame test is a procedure used in chemistry to detect the presence of certain metal ions, based on each element's characteristic emission spectrum. The color of flames in general also depends on temperature; see flame color....

 (shown at right). Not all compounds that produce a colored flame are appropriate for coloring fireworks, however. Ideal colorants will produce a pure, intense color when present in moderate concentration.
Color Metal Example compounds
Red Strontium
Strontium
Strontium is a chemical element with the symbol Sr and the atomic number 38. An alkaline earth metal, strontium is a soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element that is highly reactive chemically. The metal turns yellow when exposed to air. It occurs naturally in the minerals celestine and...

 (intense red)
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

 (medium red)
SrCO3 (strontium carbonate
Strontium carbonate
Strontium carbonate is the carbonate salt of strontium that has the appearance of a white or grey powder. It occurs in nature as the mineral strontianite.- Chemical properties :...

)
Li2CO3 (lithium carbonate
Lithium carbonate
Lithium carbonate is a chemical compound of lithium, carbon, and oxygen with the formula Li2CO3. This colorless salt is widely used in the processing of metal oxides and has received attention for its use in psychiatry. It is found in nature as the rare mineral zabuyelite.-Properties:Like almost...

)
LiCl (lithium chloride
Lithium chloride
Lithium chloride is a chemical compound with the formula LiCl. The salt is a typical ionic compound, although the small size of the Li+ ion gives rise to properties not seen for other alkali metal chlorides, such as extraordinary solubility in polar solvents and its hygroscopic...

)
Orange Calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

CaCl2 (calcium chloride
Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. Common applications include brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and desiccation...

)
Yellow Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

NaNO3 (sodium nitrate
Sodium nitrate
Sodium nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula NaNO3. This salt, also known as Chile saltpeter or Peru saltpeter to distinguish it from ordinary saltpeter, potassium nitrate, is a white solid which is very soluble in water...

)
Green Barium
Barium
Barium is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with...

BaCl2 (barium chloride
Barium chloride
Barium chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula BaCl2. It is one of the most common water-soluble salts of barium. Like other barium salts, it is toxic and imparts a yellow-green coloration to a flame. It is also hygroscopic....

)
Blue Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

CuCl2 (copper chloride
Copper chloride
Copper forms two stable chlorides:*Copper chloride , CuCl, mineral name nantokite.*Copper chloride , CuCl2, mineral name eriochalcite....

), at low temperature
Indigo Cesium CsNO3 (cesium nitrate)
Violet Potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...


Rubidium
Rubidium
Rubidium is a chemical element with the symbol Rb and atomic number 37. Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali metal group. Its atomic mass is 85.4678. Elemental rubidium is highly reactive, with properties similar to those of other elements in group 1, such as very rapid...

 (violet-red)
KNO3 (potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula KNO3. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−.It occurs as a mineral niter and is a natural solid source of nitrogen. Its common names include saltpetre , from medieval Latin sal petræ: "stone salt" or possibly "Salt...

)
RbNO3 (rubidium nitrate
Rubidium nitrate
Rubidium nitrate is an inorganic compound with the formula RbNO3. This salt is white and highly soluble in water.-Properties:Rubidium nitrate is a white crystalline powder that is highly soluble in water and very slightly soluble in acetone. In a flame test, RbNO3 gives a mauve/light purple...

)
Gold Charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, or lampblack
White Titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

, aluminum, beryllium
Beryllium
Beryllium is the chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. It is a divalent element which occurs naturally only in combination with other elements in minerals. Notable gemstones which contain beryllium include beryl and chrysoberyl...

, or magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 powders


The brightest stars, often called Mag Stars, are fueled by aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

. Magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 is rarely used in the fireworks industry due to its lack of ability to form a protective oxide layer. Often an alloy of both metals called magnalium is used.

Many of the chemicals used in the manufacture of fireworks are non-toxic, while many more have some degree of toxicity, can cause skin sensitivity, or exist in dust form and are thereby inhalation hazards. Still others are poisons if directly ingested or inhaled.

Abstract reference of chemicals used in fireworks industry


The following table is an educational guideline for the chemistry of fireworks.
Symbol Name Fireworks Usage
Al
Aluminum Aluminum is used to produce silver and white flames and sparks. It is a common component of sparklers.
Ba
Barium
Barium
Barium is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with...

Barium is used to create green colors in fireworks, and it can also help stabilize other volatile elements.
C
Carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

Carbon is one of the main components of black powder, which is used as a propellent in fireworks. Carbon provides the fuel for a firework. Common forms include carbon black, sugar, or starch.
Ca
Calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

Calcium is used to deepen firework colors. Calcium salts produce orange fireworks.
Cl
Chlorine
Chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

Chlorine is an important component of many oxidizers in fireworks. Several of the metal salts that produce colors contain chlorine.
Cs
Cesium Cesium compounds help to oxidize firework mixtures. Cesium compounds produce an indigo color in fireworks.
Cu
Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

Copper produces blue-green colors in fireworks and halides of copper are used to make shades of blue.
Fe
Iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

Iron is used to produce sparks. The heat of the metal determines the color of the sparks.
K
Potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

Potassium compounds help to oxidize firework mixtures. Potassium nitrate, potassium chlorate, and potassium perchlorate are all important oxidizers. The potassium content can impart a violet-pink color to the sparks.
Li
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

Lithium is a metal that is used to impart a red color to fireworks. Lithium carbonate, in particular, is a common colorant.
Mg
Magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

Magnesium burns a very bright white, so it is used to add white sparks or improve the overall brilliance of a firework.
Na
Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

Sodium imparts a yellow color to fireworks, however, the color is often so bright that it frequently masks other, less intense colors.
O
Oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

Fireworks include oxidizers, which are substances that produce oxygen in order for burning to occur. The oxidizers are usually nitrates, chlorates, or perchlorates. Sometimes the same substance is used to provide oxygen and color.
P
Phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

Phosphorus burns spontaneously in air and is also responsible for some glow in the dark effects. It may be a component of a firework's fuel.
Rb
Rubidium
Rubidium
Rubidium is a chemical element with the symbol Rb and atomic number 37. Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali metal group. Its atomic mass is 85.4678. Elemental rubidium is highly reactive, with properties similar to those of other elements in group 1, such as very rapid...

Rubidium compounds help to oxidize firework mixtures. Rubidium compounds produce a violet-red color in fireworks.
S
Sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

Sulfur is a component of black powder, and as such, it is found in a firework's propellant/fuel.
Sb
Antimony
Antimony
Antimony is a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51. A lustrous grey metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite...

Antimony is used to create firework glitter effects.
Sr
Strontium
Strontium
Strontium is a chemical element with the symbol Sr and the atomic number 38. An alkaline earth metal, strontium is a soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element that is highly reactive chemically. The metal turns yellow when exposed to air. It occurs naturally in the minerals celestine and...

Strontium salts impart a red color to fireworks. Strontium compounds are also important for stabilizing fireworks mixtures.
Ti
Titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

Titanium metal can be burned as powder or flakes to produce silver sparks.
Zn
Zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

Zinc is a bluish white metal that is used to create smoke effects for fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices.

Peony


A spherical break of colored stars that burn without a tail effect. The peony is the most commonly seen shell type.

Chrysanthemum


A spherical break of colored stars, similar to a peony, but with stars that leave a visible trail of sparks.

Dahlia


Essentially the same as a peony shell, but with fewer and larger stars. These stars travel a longer-than-usual distance from the shell break before burning out. For instance, if a 3" peony shell is made with a star size designed for a 6" shell, it is then considered a dahlia. Some dahlia shells are cylindrical rather than spherical to allow for larger stars.

Willow


Similar to a chrysanthemum, but has less of an ongoing flare after ignition of the shell. In addition, the flame trails gradually extinguish, and in doing so, falls creating a willow branch-like effect.

Ground Bloom Flower


A minute barrel-like figure that, when ignited, releases a small flare with an ongoing good thrust in order to rapidly spin and cause the illusion that it's coming from all angles. As it spins, the color of the flame will usually change and often ends with an orange flame color (color of a burning hydrocarbon in oxygen).

Palm




A shell containing a relatively few large comet
Comet (pyrotechnics)
In pyrotechnics a comet is a block attached to the outside of a shell or launched freely, which burns and emits sparks as the shell is rising, leaving a trail in the sky. Some comets use a matrix composition with small stars embedded in it. The matrix composition burns with little light but...

 stars arranged in such a way as to burst with large arms or tendrils, producing a palm tree-like effect. Proper palm shells feature a thick rising tail that displays as the shell ascends, thereby simulating the tree trunk to further enhance the "palm tree" effect. One might also see a burst of color inside the palm burst (given by a small insert shell) to simulate coconuts.

Ring


A shell with stars specially arranged so as to create a ring. Variations include smiley faces, hearts, and clovers.

Diadem


A type of Peony or Chrysanthemum with a center cluster of non-moving stars, normally of a contrasting color or effect.

Kamuro


Kamuro is a Japanese word meaning "Boys Haircut" which is what this shell looks like when fully exploded in the air.
A dense burst of glittering silver or gold stars which leave a heavy glitter trail and are very shiny in the night's sky.

Crossette


A shell containing several large stars that travel a short distance before breaking apart into smaller stars, creating a crisscrossing grid-like effect. Strictly speaking, a crossette star should split into 4 pieces which fly off symmetrically, making a cross. Once limited to silver or gold effects, colored crossettes such as red, green, or white are now very common.

Spider


A shell containing a fast burning tailed or charcoal star that is burst very hard so that the stars travel in a straight and flat trajectory before slightly falling and burning out. This appears in the sky as a series of radial lines much like the legs of a spider.

Horsetail


Named for the shape of its break, this shell features heavy long-burning tailed stars that only travel a short distance from the shell burst before free-falling to the ground. Also known as a waterfall shell. Sometimes there is a glittering through the "waterfall."

Time rain


An effect created by large, slow-burning stars within a shell that leave a trail of large glittering sparks behind and make a sizzling noise. The "time" refers to the fact that these stars burn away gradually, as opposed to the standard brocade "rain" effect where a large amount of glitter material is released at once.

Multi-break shells


A large shell containing several smaller shells of various sizes and types. The initial burst scatters the shells across the sky before they explode. Also called a bouquet shell. When a shell contains smaller shells of the same size and type, the effect is usually referred to as "Thousands". Very large bouquet shells (up to 48 inches) are frequently used in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

Fish


Shells that have the property of launching the flaming debris in all different directions. Also, what gives them their identities are the flares swarming in random directions.

Salute


A shell intended to produce a loud report rather than a visual effect. Salute shells usually contain flash powder
Flash powder
Flash powder is a pyrotechnic composition, a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel, which burns quickly and if confined produces a loud report. It is widely used in theatrical pyrotechnics and fireworks and was once used for flashes in photography.Different varieties of flash powder are made from...

, producing a quick flash followed by a very loud report. Titanium may be added to the flash powder mix to produce a cloud of bright sparks around the flash. Salutes are commonly used in large quantities during finales to create intense noise and brightness. They are often cylindrical in shape to allow for a larger payload of flash powder, but ball shapes are common and cheaper as well. Salutes are also called Maroon
Maroon (rocket)
A maroon is a type of rocket which makes a loud banging report and a bright flash. It is used as an alarm or warning, for example the British Royal National Lifeboat Institution uses these rockets to call the crew when the lifeboat needs to be launched.The RNLI's use of this warning device was...

s. Another type of salute is the lampare. A lampare shell has the flash powder used in a regular salute, but is filled with a flammable liquid. When the shell explodes it has a loud report with a fireball.

Mine


A mine (aka. pot à feu) is a ground firework that expels stars and/or other garnitures into the sky. Shot from a mortar like a shell, a mine consists of a canister with the lift charge on the bottom with the effects placed on top. Mines can project small reports, serpents, small shells, as well as just stars. Although mines up to 12 inches (304.8 mm) in diameter appear on occasion, they are usually between 3 and 5 in (76.2 and 127 mm) in diameter.

Bengal fire


Bengal fire or Bengal light produces a steady, vivid, blue-colored light. It is often made using combinations of potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula KNO3. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−.It occurs as a mineral niter and is a natural solid source of nitrogen. Its common names include saltpetre , from medieval Latin sal petræ: "stone salt" or possibly "Salt...

 and copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 compounds.

Roman candle


A Roman candle is a long tube containing several large stars which fire at a regular interval. These are commonly arranged in fan shapes or crisscrossing shapes, at a closer proximity to the audience. Some larger Roman candles contain small shells (bombettes) rather than stars.

Cake


A cake is a cluster of individual tubes linked by fuse
Fuse (explosives)
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately...

 that fires a series of aerial effects. Tube diameters can range in size from 1/4 in, and a single cake can have over 1,000 shots. The variety of effects within individual cakes is often such that they defy descriptive titles and are instead given cryptic names such as "Bermuda Triangle", "Pyro Glyphics","Summer Storm", "Waco Wakeup", and "Poisonous Spider", to name a few. Others are simply quantities of 2.5"-4" shells fused together in single-shot tubes.

Noise-related effects



Bangs and Report
The bang is the most common effect in fireworks and sounds like a gunshot, technically called a report.

Crackle
The firework produces a crackling sound.

Hummers
Tiny tube fireworks that are ejected into the air spinning with such force that they shred their outer coating, in doing so they whizz and hum.

Whistle
High pitched often very loud screaming and screeching created by the resonance of gas. This is caused by a very fast strobing (on/off burning stage) of the fuel. The rapid bursts of gas from the fuel vibrate the air many hundreds of times per second causing the familiar whistling sound. It is not - as is commonly thought - made in the conventional way that musical instruments are using specific tube shapes or apertures. Common whistle fuels contain benzoate or salicylate compounds and a suitable oxidizer such as potassium perchlorate.

Safety of commercial and display fireworks in Canada


Fireworks safety is considered to be extremely important in Canada. The use, storage and sale of commercial-grade fireworks in Canada is licensed by Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada
The Department of Natural Resources , operating under the FIP applied title Natural Resources Canada , is the ministry of the government of Canada responsible for natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, earth sciences, mapping and remote sensing...

's Explosive Regulatory Division (ERD). Unlike their consumer counterpart, commercial-grade fireworks function differently, and come in a wide range of sizes from 50 mm (2 inches) up to 300 mm (12 inches) or more in diameter.

Commercial grade fireworks require a "Fireworks Operator certificate", obtained from the ERD by completing a one day safety course. The certification system consists of three levels: Assistant, Supervisor, and Supervisor with Endorsements. Assistants can only work under direct supervision of a Supervisor. Supervisor certification is gained after assisting three shows within the past five years. Supervisors can independently use and fire most commercial grade pyrotechnics. Supervisor with Endorsements certification can be obtained after supervising three shows within the past five years, and allows the holder to fire from barges, bridges, rooftops and over unusual sites.

Since commercial-grade fireworks are shells which are loaded into separate mortars by hand, there is danger in every stage of the setup. Setup of these fireworks involves: the placement and securing of mortars on wooden or wire racks; loading of the shells; and if electronically firing, wiring and testing. The mortars are generally made of FRE (Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy
Epoxy
Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide, is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives....

) or HDPE
(High-Density Polyethelene), some older mortars are made of sheet steel, but have been banned by most countries due to the problem of shrapnel produced during a misfire.

Setup of mortars in Canada for an oblong firing site require that a mortar be configured at an angle of 10 to 15 degrees down-range with a safety distance of at least 200 meters (656 ft) down-range and 100 meters (328 ft) surrounding the mortars, plus distance adjustments for wind speed and direction. In June 2007, the ERD approved circular firing sites for use with vertically fired mortars with a safety distance of at least 175 meter (574 ft) radius, plus distance adjustments for wind speed and direction.

Loading of shells is a delicate process, and must be done with caution, and a loader must ensure not only the mortar is clean, but also make sure that no part of their body is directly over the mortar in case of a premature fire. Wiring the shells is a painstaking process; whether the shells are being fired manually or electronically, with any "chain fusing" or wiring of electrical ignitors care must be taken to prevent the fuse (an electrical match, often incorrectly called a squib
Squib (explosive)
A squib is a miniature explosive device used in a wide range of industries, from special effects to military applications. It resembles a tiny stick of dynamite, both in appearance and construction, although with considerably less explosive power...

) from igniting. If the setup is wired electrically, the electrical matches are usually plugged into a "firing rail" or "breakout box" which runs back to the main firing board; from there, the firing board is simply hooked up to a car battery, and can proceed with firing the show when ready. After the display, the operators must ensure the site is inspected for misfired or unfired materials within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the show. Further, they must return the next day, during daylight, to re-inspect the area again.

Safety of consumer fireworks in Great Britain


The safety of consumer fireworks in England, Scotland, and Wales is always a widely discussed topic around Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

, November 5. The most common injuries are burns from hand-held fireworks such as sparklers. There are also injuries due to people being hit by projectiles fired from fireworks, although these can usually be explained by people setting up fireworks incorrectly. Other issues include the dangers of falling rocket sticks, especially from larger rockets containing metal motors.

"Shock" adverts have been used for many years in an attempt to restrict injuries from fireworks, especially targeted at young people. The vast majority of fireworks are "Category 3, (Display Fireworks)" all of which state that spectators must be at least 25 meters (82 ft) away when the firework is fired. This is a safety concern as few people have access to that amount of private space. Other categories include "Category 2 (Garden Fireworks)" for which spectators must be a minimum of 8 meters (26 ft 3 in) away when the firework is fired, and "Category 4 - Professional Use Only". Any firework classed as Category 4 may only be used by professional pyrotechnists and must not be sold to the general public.

Safety of commercial and display fireworks in the United Kingdom


In the UK, responsibility for the safety of firework displays is shared between the Health and Safety Executive
Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety Executive is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom. It is the body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in England and Wales and Scotland...

, fire brigades and local authorities. Currently, there is no national system of licencing for fireworks operators, but in order to purchase display fireworks, operators must have licenced explosives storage and public liability insurance.

Safety of consumer fireworks in the United States




Availability and use of consumer fireworks are hotly debated topics. Critics and safety advocates point to the numerous injuries and accidental fires that are attributed to fireworks as justification for banning or at least severely restricting access to fireworks. Complaints about excessive noise created by fireworks and the large amounts of debris and fallout left over after shooting are also used to support this position. There are numerous incidents of consumer fireworks being used in a manner that is supposedly disrespectful of the communities and neighborhoods where the users live.

Meanwhile, those who support more liberal firework laws look at the same statistics as the critics and conclude that, when used properly, consumer fireworks are a safer form of recreation than riding bicycles or playing soccer.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the United States government created in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act to protect "against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products." The CPSC is an independent agency that does...

 has guidelines concerning the standard of consumer fireworks sold in the US. Together with US Customs, they are very proactive in enforcing these rules, intercepting imported fireworks that don't comply and issuing recalls on unacceptable consumer fireworks that are found to have "slipped through". Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

 (ATF) is the federal agency that regulates explosives, including Display Fireworks in the US.

Many states have laws which further restrict access to and use of consumer fireworks, and some of these states such as New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 vigorously enforce them. Each year, there are many raids on individuals suspected of illegally possessing fireworks.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

 (ATF) as well as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the United States government created in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act to protect "against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products." The CPSC is an independent agency that does...

 (CPSC) have general jurisdiction over what types of fireworks may be legally sold in the United States. The federal law is only the minimum standard however, and each state is free to enact laws that are more stringent if they so choose. Citing concerns over fireworks safety, some states, such as California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, have enacted legislation restricting fireworks usage to devices that do not leave the ground, such as fountains. North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 limits fireworks to a charge of 200 grams (7.1 oz) of blackpowder. States such as New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, and Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

 ban all consumer fireworks completely. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 and Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 have recently passed bills legalizing certain types of small fireworks. Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 only allows sparklers. On the other hand, states such as South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 allow most or all legal consumer fireworks to be sold and used throughout the year. New Mexico in some cases, will not allow fireworks from individual residents if the fireworks are said to detonate over 5 feet (1.5 m) in height.

Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 only permits sparklers, snake/glow worm pellets, smoke devices, trick noisemakers, and plastic or paper caps. However, many users travel to neighboring states such as Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 to obtain fireworks for use in Illinois. This situation is similar to the plight of many St. Louis residents as fireworks are illegal within both city and county
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 limits. However, fireworks are readily available in nearby St. Charles County.

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 is somewhere in between; the law only allows fireworks that don't leave the ground to be sold and used by residents. Yet residents from out of state and Pennsylvania residents with a permit can buy any consumer fireworks from an outlet.

Differences in legislation among states have led many fireworks dealers to set up shop along state borders in order to attract customers from neighboring states where fireworks are restricted. Some Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes on reservation lands show similar behavior, often selling fireworks that are not legal for sale outside of the reservation.

The type of fireworks sold in the United States vary widely, from fireworks which are legal under federal law, all the way to illegal explosive devices/professional fireworks that are sold on the black market. Both the illicit manufacture and diversion of illegal explosives to the consumer market have become a growing problem in recent years.

Pollution


Fireworks produce smoke and dust that may contain residues of heavy metals
Heavy metals
A heavy metal is a member of a loosely-defined subset of elements that exhibit metallic properties. It mainly includes the transition metals, some metalloids, lanthanides, and actinides. Many different definitions have been proposed—some based on density, some on atomic number or atomic weight,...

, sulfur-coal compounds and some low concentration toxic chemicals. These by-products of fireworks combustion will vary depending on the mix of ingredients of a particular firework. (The color green, for instance, may be produced by adding the various compounds and salts of Barium
Barium
Barium is a chemical element with the symbol Ba and atomic number 56. It is the fifth element in Group 2, a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. Barium is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with...

, some of which are toxic, and some of which are not.) Some fishermen have noticed and reported to environmental authorities that firework residues can hurt fish and other water-life because some may contain toxic compounds such as antimony sulfide
Antimony sulfide
Antimony sulfide may refer to either of the following:*Stibnite, Sb2S3*Antimony pentasulfide, Sb2S5...

. This is a subject of much debate because large-scale pollution from other sources makes it difficult to measure the amount of pollution that comes specifically from fireworks. The possible toxicity of any fallout may also be affected by the amount of black powder used, type of oxidizer, colors produced and launch method.

Fireworks have also been noted as a source of perchlorate
Perchlorate
Perchlorates are the salts derived from perchloric acid . They occur both naturally and through manufacturing. They have been used as a medicine for more than 50 years to treat thyroid gland disorders. They are used extensively within the pyrotechnics industry, and ammonium perchlorate is also a...

 in lakes. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Richard Wilkin and colleagues have conducted research on the use of pyrotechnic devices over bodies of water, noting concerns over the effects of environmental perchlorate on human health and wildlife. Sources of perchlorate range from lightning and certain fertilizers to the perchlorate compounds in rocket fuel and explosives. Scientists long suspected community fireworks displays were another source, but few studies had been done on the topic. Wilkin's group has now established fireworks displays as a source of perchlorate contamination by analyzing water in an Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 lake before and after fireworks displays in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Within 14 hours after the fireworks, perchlorate levels rose 24 to 1,028 times above background levels. Levels peaked about 24 hours after the display, and then decreased to the pre-fireworks background within 20 to 80 days. The study is detailed in the June 1, 2007 issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. ( Environ. Sci. Technol., 2007, 41 (11), pp 3966–3971)

Perchlorate, a type of salt in its solid form, dissolves and moves rapidly in groundwater and surface water. Even in low concentrations in drinking water supplies, perchlorate is known to inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. While there are currently no federal drinking water standards for perchlorate, some states have established public health goals, or action levels, and some are in the process of establishing state maximum contaminant levels. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency have studied the impacts of perchlorate on the environment as well as drinking water. California has also issued guidance regarding perchlorate use.

Several states have enacted drinking water standard for perchlorate including Massachusetts in 2006. California's legislature enacted AB 826, the Perchlorate Contamination Prevention Act of 2003, requiring California's Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to adopt regulations specifying best management practices for perchlorate and perchlorate-containing substances. The Perchlorate Best Management Practices were adopted on December 31, 2005 and became operative on July 1, 2006. California issued drinking water standards in 2007. Several other states, including Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Texas have established non-enforceable, advisory levels for perchlorate.

The courts have also taken action with regard to perchlorate contamination. For example, in 2003, a federal district court in California found that Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) applied because perchlorate is ignitable and therefore a “characteristic” hazardous waste. (see Castaic Lake Water Agency v. Whittaker, 272 F. Supp. 2d 1053, 1059-61 (C.D. Cal. 2003)).

Pollutants from fireworks raise concerns because of potential health risks associated with hazardous by-products. For most people the effects of exposure to low levels of toxins from many sources over long periods are unknown. For persons with asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

 or multiple chemical sensitivity
Multiple chemical sensitivity
Multiple chemical sensitivity is a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms the affected person attributes to exposure to low levels of chemicals. Commonly suspected substances include smoke, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, scented products, petroleum products and paints...

 the smoke from fireworks may aggravate existing health problems. Environmental pollution is also a concern because heavy metals and other chemicals from fireworks may contaminate water supplies and because fireworks combustion gases might contribute to such things as acid rain which can cause vegetation and even property damage. However, gunpowder smoke and the solid residues are basic, and as such the net effect of fireworks on acid rain is debatable. The carbon used in fireworks is produced from wood and does not lead to more carbon dioxide in the air. What is not disputed is that most consumer fireworks leave behind a considerable amount of solid debris, including both readily biodegradable components as well as nondegradable plastic items. Concerns over pollution, consumer safety, and debris have restricted the sale and use of consumer fireworks in many countries. Professional displays, on the other hand, remain popular around the world.

Others argue that alleged concern over pollution from fireworks constitutes a red herring, since the amount of contamination from fireworks is minuscule in comparison to emissions from sources such as the burning of fossil fuels. In the US some states and local governments restrict the use of fireworks in accordance with the Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act
A Clean Air Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution in general. The use by governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans...

 which allows laws relating to the prevention and control of outdoor air pollution to be enacted. Few governmental entities, by contrast, effectively limit pollution from burning fossil fuels such as diesel fuel or coal. Coal fueled electricity generation alone is a much greater source of heavy metal contamination in the environment than fireworks.

Some companies within the U.S. fireworks industry claim they are working with Chinese manufacturers to reduce and ultimately hope to eliminate of the pollutant perchlorate.

Laws governing consumer fireworks


Australia


In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Type 1 fireworks (sparklers, party poppers or similar below prescribed sizes) are permitted to be sold to the public. For anything that has a large explosion or gets airborne, users need to register for a Type 2 Licence. On August 24, 2009 the ACT
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and is the smallest self-governing internal territory...

 Government announced a complete ban on backyard fireworks. The Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

 allows fireworks to be sold to residents 18 years or older on Northern Territory Day (July 1) between the hours of 9am and 9pm for personal purposes. The types of fireworks allowed for sale is restricted to quieter fireworks, which can only be used at the address provided to the seller.

Chile


In Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, the manufacture, importation, possession and use of fireworks is prohibited to unauthorized individuals; only certified firework companies can legally use fireworks. As they are considered a type of explosive, offenders can be tried before military courts, though this is not often used.

Croatia


In Croatia,1st class fireworks (all kinds of weak fireworks, mostly firecrackers) can be sold and used throughout the entire year and anyone 14 or older can buy them. 2nd class (stronger than 1st class, mostly rockets, boxes and firecrackers) and 3rd class (larger boxes, the strongest firecrackers) fireworks can only be sold and used from the 15th of December until the 1st of January and can not be sold to anyone under 18 years of age, as they can cause serious injury if misused.

Finland


In Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 those under 18 years old have not been allowed to buy any fireworks since 2009. Safety goggles are required. The use of fireworks is generally allowed on the evening and night of New Year's Eve, December 31. In some municipalities of Western Finland it is allowed to use fireworks without a fire station's permission on the last weekend of August. With the fire station's permission, fireworks can be used year round.

France


In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, fireworks are legislated into four different classes, defined by total weight of explosive material. These are: (K1) small firecrackers under 3g (0.11 oz) and Roman candles under 10g (0.35 oz) which can be sold to minors over the age of 12; (K2) firecrackers and candles under 100g (3.53 oz) which can be sold to anyone over the age of majority, as can (K3) bombs and scenic fireworks with under 500g (1.1 lbs) of explosive; (K4) all other fireworks or explosives launched by mortar which are only sold to licensed professionals. Fireworks usage of any class require the authorization of the town hall of the local community, as well as the notification of the fire brigade.

Iceland


In Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, the Icelandic law states that anyone may purchase and use fireworks during a certain period around New Year's Eve. Most places that sell fireworks in Iceland make their own rules about age of buyers; usually it is around 16. The people of Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

 spend enormous sums of money on fireworks, most of which are fired as midnight approaches on December 31. As a result, every New Year's Eve the city is lit up with fireworks displays.

Ireland


In the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, the law on fireworks is governed by Part 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006. Generally, fireworks are illegal. Private fireworks displays are allowed on two conditions; the fireworks must be licensed for import and a professional fireworks operator must be used. Licenses are free and only granted on a once-off basis, such as for a party. A breach of the law regarding fireworks can result in a fine of up to €10,000 and/or up to five years in prison.

Despite the law, around Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 and New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

 a large amount of fireworks are set off, most of them smuggled across the border from Northern Ireland.

Large public fireworks displays are commonplace around Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick , the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of :Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion , the Eastern...

 (Skyfest
Skyfest
Skyfest is an annual fireworks display, accompanied by background music compiled by Mark McCabe, which takes place in Ireland. It forms the centrepiece of the annual St. Patrick's Festival in the country and is usually held on the Saturday before or after Saint Patrick's Day, a national holiday in...

), Midsummer
Midsummer
Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on a day between June 21 and June 24, and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different...

, Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 and New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

.

Italy


In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 only certified fireworks are legal. Homemade fireworks and fireworks not approved by Italian authorities are illegal. Fireworks are divided into three classes: "free fireworks" which can be sold to people over the age of 14, Cat. V fireworks can be purchased by people over the age of 18 and Cat. IV professional fireworks that require a firearms licence
Firearms licence
A firearms licence is a licence or permit issued by some Governments of a country , that allows the licensee to buy, own, possess, and use firearms, often subject to a number of conditions or restrictions, especially with regards to storage requirements or the completion of a firearms...

.

Netherlands


In the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, fireworks cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 16. They may only be sold during a period of three days before a new year. If one of these days is a Sunday, that day is excluded from sale and sale may commence one day earlier.

New Zealand


Fireworks in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 are available from the 2nd to the 5th November, around Guy Fawkes Night, and may be purchased only by those 18 years of age and older (up from 14 years pre-2007). Despite the restriction on when fireworks may be sold, there is no restriction regarding when fireworks may be used. The types of fireworks available to the public are multi-shot "cakes", Roman candles, single shot shooters, ground and wall spinners, fountains, cones, sparklers, and various novelties, such as smoke bombs and Pharaoh's serpents.

Norway


In Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, fireworks can only be purchased and used by people 18 or older. Sale is restricted to a few days before New Year's Eve. Rockets are not allowed.

Sweden


In Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, people under the age of 18 are not allowed to purchase fireworks.
The most common and only type on the market for the general public in Sweden is rockets.
Fire cracker types are banned since 1 December 2001 because of a statistically high number of accidents reported past years.

Switzerland


In Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 Fireworks are often used on the 1 August, which is a national celebration day, and on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

. A grand musical firework takes place every year in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 on a Saturday evening in mid-August.

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 fireworks cannot be sold to people under the age of 18 and are not permitted to be set off between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. with exceptions only for:
  • New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

     (Midnight New Year's Eve
    New Year's Eve
    New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

    , valid until 1 a.m.)
  • Bonfire Night
    Guy Fawkes Night
    Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

     (5 November) (Valid until midnight)
  • The Chinese New Year
    Chinese New Year
    Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

     (Valid until 1 a.m.)
  • Diwali
    Diwali
    Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

     (Valid until 1 a.m.)


The legal NEC (Net Explosive Content) of a UK Firework available to the public is 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs). Jumping Jacks, Strings of Firecrackers, Shell Firing tubes, Bangers and Mini-Rockets were all banned during the late 1990s. In 2004 single shot Air Bombs and Bottle Rockets were banned, and rocket sizes were limited. From March 2008 any firework with over 5% flashpowder per tube will be classified 1.3G. The aim of these measures was to eliminate "pocket money" fireworks, and to limit the disruptive effects of loud bangs.

United States



In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the laws governing consumer fireworks vary widely from state to state, or from county to county. It is common for consumers to cross state and county lines in order to purchase types of fireworks which are outlawed in their home-jurisdictions. Fireworks laws in urban areas typically limit sales or use by dates or seasons. Municipalities may have stricter laws than their counties or states do. In the United States, fireworks dealers generally only sell to people over 18 years of age.

The American Pyrotechnic Association maintains a directory of state laws pertaining to fireworks.

Four states (Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

) ban the sale of all consumer fireworks including novelties and sparklers by the general public.

One state (Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

) permits residents to purchase and use all non-aerial fireworks such as novelties, fountains, sparklers, and smoke bombs, while still prohibiting firecrackers.

Three states (Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, and Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

) permit residents to purchase and use only wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelties. In July 2011, Governor LePage
Paul LePage
Paul Richard LePage is an American businessman and politician who is serving as the 74th and current Governor of Maine. A Republican, he was previously mayor of Waterville from 2003 to 2011, and was a city councilor before that...

 of Maine signed into law a lift on the state's fireworks restrictions effective January 1, 2012.

Eighteen states (California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

, Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, and the District of Columbia) allow residents to purchase and use non-aerial and non-explosive fireworks like novelties, fountains and sparklers. Wisconsin also allows the purchase of aerial explosive fireworks, but only allows their launch in designated areas in each county.

For example: California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 has very specific requirements for the types of consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks are fireworks sold to the general public for use. They are generally weaker in explosive power compared to professional displays.- Examples of consumer fireworks :...

 that can be sold to and used by residents. Even then each city can and often does place restrictions on sale and use. However, the manufacture of fireworks is legal throughout the state if they are to be used as an artform and not further distributed.

Another example: In Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 only consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks are fireworks sold to the general public for use. They are generally weaker in explosive power compared to professional displays.- Examples of consumer fireworks :...

 that do not explode or fly through the air are now permitted to be sold to and used by residents. In Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 the sale and use of all consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks are fireworks sold to the general public for use. They are generally weaker in explosive power compared to professional displays.- Examples of consumer fireworks :...

 are prohibited in Omaha
Omaha
Omaha may refer to:*Omaha , a Native American tribe that currently resides in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Nebraska-Places:United States* Omaha, Nebraska* Omaha, Arkansas* Omaha, Georgia* Omaha, Illinois* Omaha, Texas...

 as of 12/31/10, while in Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska
The City of Lincoln is the capital and the second-most populous city of the US state of Nebraska. Lincoln is also the county seat of Lancaster County and the home of the University of Nebraska. Lincoln's 2010 Census population was 258,379....

 there is a two-day selling period and in other parts of the state all of the permitted types can be sold and used by residents.

Twenty two states (Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Washington and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

) permit the sale of all or most types of consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks
Consumer fireworks are fireworks sold to the general public for use. They are generally weaker in explosive power compared to professional displays.- Examples of consumer fireworks :...

 to residents. Many of these states have selling seasons around Independence Day and/or Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some of these states also allow local laws or regulations to further restrict the types permitted or the selling seasons.

For example: Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 permits all types of consumer fireworks to be sold to residents with two selling seasons; June 20–July 10 and December 20–January 2. South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 permits all types of consumer fireworks except small rockets less than ½” in diameter and 3” long to be sold and used by residents year round.

Two states (Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 and Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

) allow each county to establish their own regulations. For example, Clark County, Nevada
Clark County, Nevada
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 1,375,765 people, 512,253 households, and 339,693 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 71.6% White , 9.1% Black, 5.7% Asian, 0.8% American Indian and 12.8% of other or mixed race. 22.0% were Hispanic of any race...

, where Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

 is located, allows residents to purchase and use only non-explosive and non-aerial consumer fireworks during Independence Day, while other counties permit all types of consumer fireworks.

Many states have stores with all types of consumer fireworks that sell to non-residents with the provision they are to remove the purchased fireworks from that state. This is why there are so many stores selling all types of consumer fireworks in states like Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, even though residents are limited or prohibited from buying or using those very same consumer fireworks unless they have the appropriate licenses and/or permits.

Many Native American Tribes have consumer fireworks stores on reservation lands that are exempt from state and local authority and will sell to people that are not in the tribe.

External links