What Makes Fireworks Work?

Before you purchase your fireworks, it’s helpful to know about their composition and their common names. Below are the main ingredients of fireworks, their chemical reactions, and their construction. Once you know what these ingredients are and what makes them work, you’ll be ready to buy your fireworks! Keep reading to learn more! Also, remember to watch fireworks shows and know what to expect. This way, you can avoid buying something that might not work for your event.

Common ingredients

The four common ingredients in fireworks are the oxygen producer, the ignition fuel and the binder. While the exact composition of the components in each firework varies slightly, these four ingredients are common to all fireworks. The propellant or liquid that lights the fireworks consists of oxygen and carbon, which together produce colour. Once lit, the propellant releases a fuse, which ignites the other ingredients in the inner shell. Typically, one or two of these ingredients combine to produce a single color, but many fireworks use multiple types of chemicals to produce various effects.

Chemical reactions

Fireworks produce color due to chemical reactions. Each color is created by combining a certain element and a higher energy substance to form a gas. This gas is the result of a high-speed chemical reaction, and the goal of an explosive firework display is to produce gas quickly. Slow chemical reactions are ineffective, since they do not create an explosive product. Here are some facts about fireworks’ chemical reactions. Learn how fireworks produce colors and watch a show!


Professional fireworks are launched by the same company that manufactures them, so they are generally well-maintained and well-known for their quality. They are typically ground-based displays consisting of colored flares that form a picture or word. To create these displays, a professional firework maker will sketch the intended design on graph paper and have carpenters construct a wooden frame using thin wooden slats. The timing of the fireworks show is also determined by music.


The term “fireworks” has different meanings depending on what type of pyrotechnic effect is being created. Some fireworks are classified as “proximate” or “near,” meaning that they are used in close proximity to the spectators. Other types of fireworks are known as “indirect,” which refer to the type of device that’s far away from the spectators. For example, punks are bamboo sticks that are coated in a brown powder and are similar to incense sticks but have no aromatic effect. Punks are commonly used as outdoor insect repellants.


The origin of fireworks can be traced to ancient China, where a Chinese alchemist mixed three common kitchen ingredients to form gunpowder. He then stuffed tissue paper fuses into the tube to ignite the mixture. Fireworks were then used in ceremonies, public celebrations, and religious celebrations. During the middle ages, fireworks were almost unheard of and their origins are not known for certain. However, their popularity did not stop there.


Pyrotechnic articles are regulated to ensure consumer safety, including the production and use of fireworks. The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 stipulate that economic operators cannot place fireworks on the market in Great Britain unless they meet certain safety requirements. Essential safety provisions include conformity attestation against relevant tests and the correct application of the CE mark or the new UKCA mark. Manufacturers must also retain relevant technical documentation, such as a declaration of conformity, for a period of 10 years.

Recycling exploded fireworks

Unlike many household items, fireworks cannot be recycled. The chemicals, fuels, oxidizers, and other materials they contain make them unfit for recycling. Instead, they should be disposed of as household trash, either at a fire department or appropriate trash depot. It’s always best to soak exploded fireworks in water before disposing of them, as they’re likely too dirty to be recycled. Recycling exploded fireworks can be a challenging task, so it’s important to know where to take them.