Firework Descriptions

This is a brief list of descriptions of the various Consumer Fireworks (UN0336, 1.4G) devices that are carried by Patriotic Fireworks:

FIRECRACKERS: Small explosive devices that are usually woven together by their fuses in various lengths to produce a series of loud "bangs". The strips are further packed into "bundles", or "bricks" to fill a shipping carton. The strips range in length from 16 crackers per string to 20,000 crackers per string. These devices all meet the Federal requirement of maximum of 50mg of explosive powder per cracker.

BOTTLE ROCKETS/STICK ROCKETS: These are rocket motors attached to a stick to allow a stable flight. The smallest of these are called "bottle rockets" because they can be fired from a bottle or other small launching device. The larger stick rockets are launched from either a launching tube angled away from the shooter, or from a "V" shaped trough and reach much higher altitudes than bottle rockets. These rockets all leave a "tail" of bright sparks and upon reaching maximum height, burst their payload of stars, whistles, or reports (bangs). Some rockets also have load whistles or "crackling’ sound as the ascend.

AERIAL SPINNERS: Small items, usually with wings, that spin on the ground when ignited, then rise into the air and end with a burst of color, or reports (bangs).

GROUND SPINNERS: Small devices that spin and whiz when ignited on a smooth hard surface (they do not work well on grass, or uneven surfaces). The devices throw off colors as they spin on the ground. Jumping Jacks are several of these items fused together, like firecrackers, allowing multiple spinning effects from one ignition.

MISSILES: As the name implies, these devices are rockets without sticks and use fins to stabilize their flight. Some of these devices are multiple missiles that are packed into a firing device (like Saturn Missile Battery) that launch multiple missiles from one ignition. The larger missiles burst into color and/or reports upon reaching maximum trajectory.

ROMAN CANDLES: These are tubes containing small projectiles that are fired into the air sequentially when the fuse is lit. These devices should not be held in the hand, but should be fired from the center of a cinder block or inserted into the ground. Roman Candles eject a multitude of different effects into the air ranging from colored stars with "tails", to crackling, and reports, depending on the product, and they come in 5-ball, 8-ball and 10-ball sized, each "ball" being a separate projectile fired into the air from a single ignition fuse.

WHEELS: Wheels, or "pinwheels", are devices that come with a nail for fastening to a post or tree, and when lit, spin rapidly throwing off a circular shower of stars and some also have whistles.

FOUNTAINS: These are devices that may have one, or multiple, tubes that are ignited on the ground and shoot a shower or "fountain" of colored sparks into the air. These come in a multitude of varieties and effects and are often accompanied with whistles.

NOVELTIES: These are small devices that are not actually fireworks, but offer many effects; "Pop Snaps" which are small paper bags of noise making pellets that explode with a bang when thrown against a hard surface; "Party Poppers" which eject colored paper streamers into the air when they are triggered, either by pulling a string or a "trigger"; Snakes are small pellets that , when ignited, expand to form a long ash that curls as it burns, into the form of a snake; Toy Novelties are devices that move on the ground and emit sparks, colors, and/or whistles as they move about, propelled by sparks. These devices come in a multitude of different shapes from "tanks" to cars, to boats, and almost any other shape that will amuse the user.

SPARKLERS: An American tradition. These are wire, or bamboo, sticks that are coated with a pyrotechnic material that produce sparks and colors when ignited, and they are meant to be held in the hand.

MINES: A mine is an aerial tube device that, when ignited, shoots burning stars 40 to 50 feet into the air, creating a column of colors, sparks and/or noise as it shoots from the tube. These devices should be fired from a solid, level, surface.

AERIAL TUBE DEVICES: These are similar to mines, but eject a "shell" into the air that bursts at a high altitude into a large colored display, similar to professional fireworks. The effect may be accompanied by rising comet tails, or whistling, and may also include firecrackers which explode in the air. These devices should be fired from a smooth, level surface and can reach altitudes of over 200 feet.

AERIAL MULTI-SHOTS: These are devices that project multiple aerial effects from a single ignition. They range in size from small tubes which fire aerial bursts from 50 to 100 feet in the air, up to large diameter tube devices that sequentially shoot large aerial projectiles hundreds of feet into the air. These devices can contain combinations of mines, comets, and color bursts, all of which can be accompanied by rising whistles and comet tails. They are also called "cakes", "repeaters", and "finale racks". They are the most popular fireworks devices being sold in America today.

AERIAL RE-LOADABLE: These are aerial tube devices that come with an empty firing tube and several "shells" that have long fuses. A "mortar shell" is lowered into the tubes and the long fuse attached to the shell is lit, causing the shell to fire into the air to make a large colored burst (sometimes accompanied with firecrackers) about 100 feet into the air.

If you have any additional questions about consumer Fireworks, please contact us at 410-287-2365 or email us at

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