Fireworks are explosive devices that burn with colored flames and sparks. Fireworks are used in pyrotechnic exhibitions and displays.
These devices are used in producing one or more loud bangs or striking displays of light, or a figure or figures in plain or colored fire, by the combustion of materials that burn in some peculiar manner, as gunpowder, sulfur, metallic filings, and various salts. The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube filled with the combustible material. 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. The name is also given to various combustible preparations used in war.
Improper use of fireworks may be dangerous, both to the person operating them (risks of burns and wounds) and to bystanders; in addition, they may start a fire if landing on flammable material. For this reason, the use of fireworks is generally legally restricted. In some jurisdictions, their use is restricted to professionals; in some others, some smaller models can be used by the general public, while the others may only be operated by professionals. Also, in general, firing them near houses or in fire hazards areas is prohibited.
Home Fireworks in the United States (Independence Day)
During the American Independence Day (popularly known as the Fourth of July), retail fireworks stands spring up around the nation in states that don't severely restrict or outright ban all fireworks for safety reasons (such as California, for example). Popular types of legal use-at-home fireworks include:
- Roman candles
- Fountain batteries (not the alkaline, DC type)
- "Snakes" (turn to ash)
- Saturn missile batteries
- Smoke bombs (not an actual explosive)
In the U.S., Native American tribes that have reservation lands often sell firecrackers that are not legal for sale outside of its reservation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cherry bombs (possibly knock-offs)
- M-80 firecrackers (possibly knock-offs)
- M-100 firecrackers (possibly knock-offs)
- M-1000 firecrackers
- "Black cat" rolls
- Mortar tubes
- Bottle rockets