Fireworks are loved by all. From the back garden watching dad light a rocket to a professional display on New Year's Eve that illuminates the night sky in a dazzling light and sound show, fireworks have been a part of human history for thousands of years.
Whether it's a wedding, a birthday, a gender reveal party or a cultural celebration like the Chinese New Year or Diwali, we celebrate life every chance we get. Whether it's sparklers, mines, rockets, or the most temperamental of fireworks, the Catherine Wheel, we simply can't get enough of that.
Pro Tip: try firework selection boxes to find the best ones.
Our short buyer's guide gives you an overview of the legal requirements, types of fireworks available, and safety tips.
A Brief History of Fireworks
A young Chinese monk called Li Tan discovered 2,000 years ago that packing gunpowder into bamboo shoots (another Chinese invention) produced a tremendous explosion.
Traditional celebrations quickly adopted this technique for frightening off evil spirits. Colors and sparks were generated by mixing chemicals into the mixture. These aerial bursts of color and noise have never lost their appeal, even 1500 years after they were invented.
Fireworks for Celebrations:
A fireworks party can make any celebration more enjoyable. Their use is traditionally associated with celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, and New Year's Eve. During the Gunpowder Plot by the Gunpowder Plotters in 1605, they were also used to mark the attempted blow-up of the King and Parliament. Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators did not fare so well, although Parliament and the King survived.
In the modern world, we love any opportunity to light off some fireworks. A gender reveals party is a modern celebration that uses colour-coded fireworks to announce the birth of a baby boy or girl. Every happy occasion is a good reason to set off fireworks.
Safety Measures to Consider:
All fireworks, irrespective of category, will be required to have a CE mark from 2017. BS 7114 Part 2 of the British Safety Standards also applies to fireworks from 2017. Always buy fireworks from reputable sources such as Ghengis Fireworks to ensure that they meet those standards.
Safety is the most important factor when purchasing fireworks. Unfortunately, fireworks are still misused despite the warnings. In extreme cases, fireworks can even cause death. This is explosive, and it should be handled with the utmost respect.
When using fireworks, you should follow the following safety tips. By following these tips, you can avoid injury when using fireworks:
- Firework displays should be planned with safety in mind to make them more enjoyable.
- Fireworks should always be used one at a time, and be stored in a sealed, damp-proof container.
- Be sure to read and follow all instructions on each firework before using it, if necessary.
- At arm's length, light one firework at a time with a taper (Portfire) and stand well back.
- Fireworks should not be touched by naked flames or cigarettes.
- Fireworks should never be returned once they have been lit.
- Never throw fireworks at people or animals, and never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Any rockets should be angled slightly in the opposite direction from any spectators.
- Don't use petrol or paraffin on a bonfire.
- Be sure to check that the bonfire or smaller fires are properly extinguished and that the surrounding area has been made safe before you leave.
What Type of Fireworks Should You Buy?
There are different categories of fireworks:
- This category includes low-power fireworks like sparklers, indoor fireworks, party poppers, and Christmas crackers. As long as proper safety protocols are followed, they are generally safe for everyone to use.
- This is a garden firework set that can be used in a small area about 15-25 ft in diameter. Despite their relatively low power, they can still be dangerous if thrown or misused.
- Fireworks in Category 3 or F3 have more flash powder in them, resulting in bigger blasts, more sparkles, and greater height in designs like rockets. To avoid any big explosions, you'll need a larger area, sometimes up to 80 feet.
- F4 – Category 4 fireworks cannot be purchased by the general public and are only available to licensed pyrotechnic professionals.
Choose Where to Buy Fireworks:
- Find out if the fireworks company is a member of the British Fireworks Association (BFA). You can be sure their fireworks meet the latest UK safety standards since they are all tested.
- Whenever possible, buy from reputable retailers instead of pop-up shops.
- Consider buying fireworks online from companies that offer helpful advice about which category of fireworks to buy. Look for a seller who lists fireworks categories.
- When shopping on online marketplaces, be careful. You should keep in mind that online marketplaces are not responsible for the safety of the products they sell.
- You should not buy fireworks through social media posts.