What Goes Into a Firework?

The modern firework is composed of a shell made of plastic, papier-mache or heavy paper. The shell contains a black powder that propels the firework into the sky, and a larger compartment containing a chemical mixture that produces light when heated. Many Asian fireworks contain stars around the black powder. Read on to learn more about the elements that go into fireworks! This article also covers safety and chemical reactions. It will make it easier for you to decide which fireworks are right for you.

Elements used in fireworks

Fireworks are composed of several different chemicals, with some being better at producing certain colors than others. Fireworks are typically composed of three main components: fuel, oxidizer, and binder. The three components are all elements, with potassium serving as the oxidizer, providing the firework with enough oxygen to produce a large explosion. Carbon, meanwhile, is a key ingredient in fuel, and helps fireworks produce popular effects such as golden chandeliers.

Chemical reactions

To make a fireworks display look and sound beautiful, they have a complex chemical formula. A mixture of oxidizer and fuel (usually carbon-based) burns at a high temperature and releases energy in the form of light, heat, and kinetic energy. The laws of physics dictate that the total amount of chemical energy packed inside the firework is equal to the amount of energy released during the explosion. The explosion of a fireworks display can rival the power of a thunderous thunderstorm.


Generally, the injuries from consumer fireworks are to the hands and fingers. The head and eyes are also common, with eye injuries being far more common than burns. In addition to causing burns, fireworks can cause blindness or even permanent scarring. They can also start fires, resulting in life-threatening motor vehicle and residential fires. Sparklers are the most common type of fireworks, with about one third of the accidents occurring in children under five.

Color concoctions

The basic ingredients of fireworks are fuel, an oxidizer and an element that gives off a particular color. Red fireworks contain highly reactive strontium, while blue fireworks use copper, which is also sensitive to heat. Color concoctions are combined by technicians to produce a range of fireworks colors. Each color represents a unique mixture of chemicals. The oxidizing and reducing agents in a fireworks shell help produce each specific color.

Legal classifications

Listed below are the different legal classifications of fireworks, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The legal classifications for fireworks include the types of firework used, the amount of each type, and storage requirements. Fireworks are classified according to their hazards. Generally, smoke items are not considered fireworks. However, they may be sold in some states. They are part of the 1.3G consumer fireworks classification. These fireworks include fountains, sparklers, snakes, ground spinners, pinwheels, and novelty items. However, these fireworks are not rockets, aerial shells, or roman candles.