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Fireworks, Safe and Sane or Not

So many questions, but not enough answers for the part time once a year pyro. Even those who celebrate their holidays with fireworks get confused on which is which. Well, let's clear the air. With the summer holidays, 4th of July and all the upcoming parties, many people inquire about fireworks. You know, the ones that go up and go boom, right? I guess that covers a portion of the fireworks you can buy, but doesn't really explain what and how each is classified. In most localities around the United States, the government determines which fireworks you can have, the "BOOMS" or the "Fizzles and Sparks". So we will draw the line here and now.

First, let's talk about the question is it really "safe and sane"? All fireworks are dangerous if not properly used and we avoid following directions. Sparklers can be one of the most dangerous of all fireworks. Don't laugh, the heat emitted from a simple sparklers can cause serious burns, not to mention the metal sticks. Touch one while hot, you will see the scar for a very long time. Discard the stick carelessly, and the lawn mower may find it days, weeks or even months later and inflict additional injury to someone. Yes, "Sparklers" are considered "Safe and Sane". There are some alternatives available on the market today. Go "Stickless" for starters. The "Patriot Stick" is a stickless sparkler that can be used in many different event situations including weddings. Less smoke, long lasting and no metal stick to deal with. Pictured below. A video is available by clicking on the highlighted link above.


All consumer fireworks available for purchase in the United States are label as 1.4G. Anything other than items displaying this label are not for consumer use. Common items that are now allowed in most states are items known as "fountains". Fountains come in many different sizes and shapes. Some are cones, some look like some boxes, but all basically have the same over all effects. Fountains produce amazing colors, like lava flowing or bright neon color small beads being emitted from a box like device. By lighting one fuse the process begins. Again, like any fireworks device, it is suggested you follow the direction on the labels. Proper distance, and do not hold any firework item in your hand or near your body will help eliminate the possibility of any unwanted injury. Most fountains are best viewed in the night time hours. Fountains are considered to be "Safe and Sane" now in most states. Box fountains are the most popular like the one shown below.

This fountain is on the upper end of both effects and price. Take a gander at the video below, and yes this is still "Safe and Sane".

What separates the "Safe and Sane" from the rest of the consumer fireworks? It would be anything that leaves the ground. The list is very long and contains a library full of items. Many years back, aerial fireworks were not outlawed like they are today in those few places. Even though you may not have been able to purchase them where you lived, it was not illegal to possess them or light them off. In many localities even today where fireworks are not legally sold, a person who wishes to celebrate an occasion with fireworks can do so by obtaining a local government agency permit to possess and display fireworks. Yes, even those that are not on the "Safe and Sane" list. Here are a few items that may be illegal in some places without a government permit, some examples:

These are aerial fireworks none as "Fireworks Cakes" or "Repeaters". Lighting one fuse starts the entire process. Clearly not intended for use without following the label to a tee. This particular item contains 500 grams of explosive powder and is intended to used in a safe manner.

Fireworks artillery shells. These are very dangerous if not used in accordance with the instructions. Legal in many states today, illegal to possess or shoot in others without the necessary permits. These are not in the "Safe and Sane" isle of your local fireworks store.

Roman Candles. Even though they are nothing like the above fireworks artillery shells, fireworks candles are not allowed in some areas. Don't expect any big booms with these items other than a pop. A roll of caps hammered at one time makes a louder boom. But the effects can be amazing under the right circumstances with the right candles.

Even though you may be a patriot, you have to withhold your patriotism in some state in the United States with these items. Clearly not in the "Safe and Sane" catagory.

Probably one of the oldest items still on the market today are "bottle rockets". Inexpensive, basically a firecracker on a stick. Not listed as "safe and sane" even though there in not much to them.

One celebration item that is still available in the "safe and sane" category is the "Champagne Popper". Used for many occasions including parties, weddings, New Years and many others. No permit are necessary and it does keep the clean up crew busy. Find all the items and more listed in this blog on our website at



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