With the New Year fast approaching, we give you the answers to five fireworks questions that you’ve wondered about!
When were fireworks invented?
Fireworks were invented in Ancient China to scare away evil spirits. In the 12th Century, people would fill bamboo stems with gunpowder and burn them to create small explosions. The modern equivalent of these early fireworks are firecrackers. Due to the danger and unpredictability of fireworks, many countries have restricted or banned their usage.
In the UK, firecrackers are banned. Jumping Jacks, Shell Firing tubes, Bangers and Mini-Rockets were also all banned in the late 1990s.
Can I buy fireworks?
You can’t buy fireworks if you’re under 18. If you’re over 18 then you can only buy fireworks from registered sellers if you’re planning on using them on these dates:
15th October – 10th November
26th – 31st December
3 days before Diwali or Chinese New Year
If you want to buy fireworks for another date in the year then you have to buy them from a licensed shop.
Is there a fireworks organisation?
The Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) is the independent, worldwide organisation for professional and amateur fireworks enthusiasts. They encourage the safe use of fireworks whilst also celebrating the history or fireworks.
Every since the organisation was founded in 1969, the PGI have held a week-long convention every August, where some of the biggest and best firework displays in the world happen.
How are the colours in fireworks made?
The colours in fireworks are made from specific chemical compounds. For example, Strontium (Sr) or Lithium (Li) can make red when they’re burnt in a firework. To make violet, you’d need Potassium (K) or Rubidium (Rb).
For more information on how the colours in fireworks are created, read our blog here.
What do I need to know about fireworks?
In the UK, fireworks are divided into 4 categories.
Category 1 – Low hazard fireworks, intended for use inside small, confined areas.
Category 2 – Low hazard, low noise level and intended for outside use in small areas.
Category 3 – Medium hazard, noise level not harmful and intended for use in large, outside areas.
Category 4 – High hazard, noise level not harmful and only to be used by professionals.
Stay safe when you’re using fireworks over Christmas and New Year!