How to define “Fireworks”

Fireworks in the sky - but what are fireworks?On a site dedicated to firework shows and training in fireworks it is worth taking time to answer the question “what are fireworks”?

Asking around friends and neighbours I get answers like:

  • Dazzling dandelion seed fluffs in the night.
  • What you have on Guy Fawkes Night
  • Pretty colours in the sky
  • Sparky sparky boom joys!
  • Something that should only in handled/let off by professionals who know what they are doing.

From the NZ Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996:

firework means an object containing small quantities of hazardous substances with explosive properties enclosed in a case of paper or similar material of such a strength, construction, and character that the ignition or explosion of one such firework will not cause the explosion en masse of similar fireworks kept or carried with it, and whose sole or principal effect is not percussive or vertical or horizontal flight”

I can’t say that definition sings to me! So I asked the boss and got:

“Fireworks use controlled chemical reactions to create bold visual and audible effects with smoke, explosions and coloured reactions by firing burning reactants as sprays of white or coloured sparks, very bright flashes with sound, coloured moving stars and in daytime coloured smoke trails. Usually used for entertainment.” Anthony Lealand

So that is what we do at Firework Professionals; we are poets, chemists, artists, and have obligations to keep our pyrotechnicians and our audience safe.