Fireworks Records Page

Fireworks are like almost everything else have records for the biggest, longest, and the most. Here are some of the “official” records from the Guiness World Book of Records, and some of the “unofficial” records that have yet to be recognized by Guiness.

Guiness World Book of Records

+ The largest firework ever produced was Universe I Part II, exploded for the Lake Toya Festival, Hokkaido, Japan on 15 Jul 1988. The 1,543 pound shell was 54.7 inches in diameter and burst to a diameter of 3,937 feet. (Note: This was not an aerial shell but a shell that was placed on a floating platform and ignited). [Source ]

+ A self-propelled horizontal firework wheel measuring 47 feet 4 inches diameter, built by Florida Pyrotechnic Arts Guild (FPAG), was displayed at the Pyrotechnics Guild International (...

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Pyrotechnic Chemicals

Acetone (2-Propanone) [C3H6O]
Flammable liquid used as a solvent in pyrotechnics (i.e., in mixtures that can’t contain water).  Nitrocellulose can be dissolved in it to create nitrocellulose lacquer, which can be used as an adhesive or a waterproof coating.  Acetone is hard to work with because it evaporates so quickly, thus making the composition cold and causing water to condense.

Hazards:  Extremely flammable.  Evaporates rapidly and creates heavier-than-air vapors which are also flammable.

Aluminum [Al]
Most widely used fuel in modern pyrotechnics; produces a brilliant, bright flame.  The particles come in several of different shapes, such as flakes and grains.

Hazards:  Dust can be harmful if inhaled into the lungs without a proper dust mask, and can be explosive if too much o...

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Science of FIREWORKS

Fireworks function by the rapid, highly exothermic chemical reaction (burning) of a fuel with oxygen.  The hot gases generated by this process can emit light by themselves, or transfer the energy to other compounds that emit light.  The heat also serves to further release oxygen from the solid oxidizer, so it can combine with the fuel, ignite, and continue the reaction.  All pyrotechnic compositions contain for main ingredients – a fuel, and oxidizer, color/effect producing chemicals, additives, and binders.  Each of these will be explained more in-depth below.


The word “burning” describes the oxidation of a fuel in air.  A campfire, for instance, uses oxygen from the air to turn wood (cellulose) into steam (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), among other things...

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Pyro Universe FAQ

 What are the firework laws in my state?

State fireworks laws usually fall into one of four general categories.  Futhermore, individual states may not allow certain devices for whatever reason.

 What are the firework laws in my town?

Folks, there are tens of thousands of towns in the United States alone.  I know the specific laws for only one – mine.  If you want to find out, contact either your city clerk or fire marshal and ask them for information.  In most cases, towns have a printed information packet stating all local fireworks ordinances, including what can be bought/sold and when.

 Will you send me fireworks or free fireworks samples?

No.  Pyro Universe is not a firework manufacturing, display, or distributing company...

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Pyrotechnic Glossary

1.1G (UN0333) – DOT classification for explosives that pose a mass detonation hazard

1.2G (UN0334) – DOT classification for explosives that pose a projectile hazard

1.3G (UN0335) – DOT classification for explosives that pose a flaming projectile hazard (display fireworks)

1.4G (UN0336) – DOT classification for explosives that pose a limited hazard (consumer fireworks)

1.4S (UN0337) – DOT classification for explosives that pose only a limited or small hazard, such as fuse.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – plastic pipe used in plumbing.  ABS should NEVER be used for mortars since it can shatter into razor-sharp pieces

Aerial Bomb – old term for an aerial shell

Aerial Firework – a device that functions in the air, such as a shell, roman candle, rocket, or repeater

Aerial sh...

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History of Fireworks & Gunpowder

The First Firecrackers

The history of fireworks goes back thousands of years to China during the Han dynasty (~200 B.C.), even long before gunpowder was invented.  It is believed that the first “firecrackers” were likely chunks of green bamboo, which someone may have thrown onto a fire when dry fuel ran short.  The rods sizzled and blackened, and after a while, unexpectedly exploded.  Bamboo grows so fast that pockets of air and sap get trapped inside of the plant’s segments.  When heated, the air inside of the hollow reeds expands, and eventually bursts through the side with a long bam!

The strange sound, which had never been heard before, frightened people and animals terribly...

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