The Elements Used in Fireworks and the Safest Ways to Use Them

There are many types of fireworks, but one of the most spectacular is the sky-high display of colourful stars. Each pattern differs slightly from the next, depending on the elements used. Read on to learn more about the elements used in fireworks and the safest ways to use them. If you are planning to set off fireworks in a public place, make sure to follow these safety tips:

Chemical reactions that take place during the ignition of a firework

Fireworks are composed of two main components, gunpowder and oxidiser. Both components burn to form gases with a high temperature, which is called pyrotechnic combustion. The composition of gunpowder and oxidiser is crucial to the fireworks’ success. The proportion of each component affects the rate of reaction. Oxidising agents include carbon dioxide and nitrates.

Elements used in fireworks

Despite their common appearance, some elements are not naturally found in fireworks. Copper, with its atomic number of 29 and symbol Fe, is the most abundant element in the earth crust. It is used in many utilities and is an important component of fireworks. It also helps fireworks spark brightly. For this reason, fireworks often contain a trace amount of iron. However, the presence of iron in fireworks is not an absolute necessity, as other elements can substitute it.

Common types of fireworks

Fireworks can be divided into three types: aerial, ground, and fountain. The aerial type, known as peony, produces colorful sparks and shoots up into the air. The ground-based variety, known as fountain, usually leaves behind a faded trail that looks like a chrysanthemum. These can be used for indoor displays, but they tend to be cheaper. Most fountain fireworks have limited height and are safe for indoor use in a large hall. The height and duration of the sparks are usually mentioned on the packet.

Safety precautions

Fireworks are a common form of fun and celebration, but there are some safety precautions you should take before lighting any fireworks. Always ensure that you are legally permitted to buy consumer fireworks and use them in a safe manner. Before you set off, ensure that you have water near by. Never alter or mix different types of fireworks. Also, wear safety glasses and do not wear loose clothes, as friction could ignite the fireworks. Read all the instructions on the labels of the fireworks you plan to use.

Artistic uses of fireworks

Throughout art history, there have been many examples of artistic uses of fireworks. Whistler, a Canadian artist known for his controversial art, was an early adopter of the pyrotechnics genre. His Nocturne is an example of this, incorporating the firework’s experience and pyrotechnic effects into an image. This print combines a rich blue-green-black color with golden dots of paint to depict the spectacle of a firework display.