Firework terms

Firework Terms

What do the icons mean?

If you're having your own bonfire event or fireworks display, our product listings include the important information you need not only to make your event safe and enjoyable but also to store your fireworks safely at home.

Icon distance


KEEPING YOU SAFE | To help you prepare a safe fireworks display and protect your spectators, we list the minimum safety distance in metres. The recommended safety distances are first and foremost there for safety but along with this we recommend these distances at a minimum to achieve the best visual of the display as well.

  • Category F1 fireworks are indoor or close proximity fireworks with a minimal safety distance of 1 metre
  • Category F2 fireworks are garden fireworks with a spectator safety distance of at least 8 metres as minimum. Some items advise 15 metres
  • Category F3 fireworks are outdoor display fireworks with a spectator safety distance of at least 25 metres as a minimum.
Icon net weight

NEC Weight

KEEPING YOU SAFE | To help you store our fireworks safety when buying in bulk, we list the net explosive content of each firework. You will need to know the amount of actual explosives in a firework to determine how many fireworks you can keep at home and how long for without requiring registration or a licence.

The current legal limits for storing fireworks at home are:

  • 1.4G Fireworks (HT4) You can keep up to 50kg NEC for no longer than 21 days, provided they are not for sale or use at work.
  • 1.3G Fireworks (HT3) You can keep up to 100kg NEC for up to 5 consecutive days, provided they are kept in their place of intended use.
Icon noise


HELPING YOU CHOOSE | To make it easier for you to select the type of firework that you want, we rate noise levels as low, medium or loud. We even have a dedicated low noise firework category. The term Silent Fireworks is often used on social media but there is no such thing as Silent Fireworks.

  • LOW - Fireworks that do NOT produce any bangs in the effects but still make a little noise from the lift charge that sends the effect into the air
  • MEDIUM - Fireworks that produce bangs in the effects fired and will range in level again depending on tube size. 16mm tubes will be slightly less loud than 20mm tubes and so on 25mm with 30mm being the loudest unless they are low noise effects obviously.
  • LOUD - Fireworks that produce loud bangs and very loud bangs are all you will find in this category. These fireworks will mainly have a tube size ranging from 20mm to 30mm
Icon tube size

Tube Size

HELPING YOU DECIDE | To help you gain a better idea of the burst size and effect time of a firework, we include the tube diameter size. The bigger the tube size, the bigger the burst and the bigger the effect.

  • 16mm - Fireworks with 16mm tubes produce a low to medium noise level and are great fireworks for those with smaller firing areas to use.
  • 20mm - Fireworks with 20mm tubes are used for a wide range of F2 & F3 fireworks from low noise to big and powerful SIB's.
  • 25mm - 25mm tubes are used for a wide range of F2 & F3 fireworks from low noise effects to big powerful Single Ignition Barrages
  • 30mm - Fireworks with 30mm tubes are at the legal UK limit for retail fireworks. They will produce large effects and loud effects if not a low noise firework
Icon pattern mixed


HELPING YOU CREATE | To help you create a show-stopping display and allow you to buy fireworks suitable for the firing area you have, we set out the firing patterns – fanned, straight or mixed. Mix the firing patterns to fill the sky with colour and noise and keep your audience guessing what will happen next.

  • Fanned - Fireworks will fire the shots in fanned volleys or in a Z firing pattern which will fire left to right and back again at speed.
  • Straight - Fireworks will fire all shots straight up no other direction.
  • Mixed - Fireworks will have a mix of firing patterns, firing straight up and fanned. Mainly found in Single Ignition Barrages.
Icon hazard

Hazard Class

KEEPING YOU SAFE | To ensure your safety when bulk buying, transporting and storing our fireworks for a long time, we list the hazard class of each firework. We will advise you personally when purchasing bundles. Fireworks classed as 1.3G are considered more hazardous than 1.4G.

  • 1.4S - Low hazardous typically allocated to indoor fireworks, novelty items and some sparklers
  • 1.4G - Most common on garden retail fireworks presenting a medium hazardous warning
  • 1.3G - This is allocated to the selection of fireworks with the most powder content, making them more powerful. Some of the most popular fireworks sold are 1.3G
Icon shots


HELPING YOU DESIGN | To help you structure and set the pace for a dynamic fireworks display, we detail the number of shots per firework or total number shots in one of our bundles of fireworks. Please note a common misconception is the more shots the more powerful a firework is. This is not true :)

Icon duration


HELPING YOU PLAN | To help you plan the running time of your display, we include the manufacturer’s listed firework duration in seconds. All listed durations are approx. The information is taken from the manufacturers and Chorlton Fireworks holds no responsibility for for products that over run or are slightly shorter in duration.

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