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26 Aug, 2021
8 minutes

Sparklers: Fireworks FAQs

Everyone loves a sparkler. These magical little sticks produce an abundance of sparks, glittering light, and flames. Getting to hold your own sparkler makes you feel like you’re part of your own firework show, up close and personal. If you have questions about sparklers: how they work, how safe they are, and how to get hold of some, we’ve got all the answers here.

What are sparklers?

A sparkler is a handheld firework that emits colours and light through the effects of sparks and flames. A sparkler takes the form of a thin, non-combustible stick of metal that has been dipped into a pyrotechnic batter. When lit, the combustible material around the stick will slowly burn down from the tip, producing visual and sound effects.

What are sparklers made of?

The pyrotechnic part of a sparkler consists of a cocktail of different chemicals, each of which produces different effects. These vary from product to product, but generally, a sparkler will include:

  • Metallic fuel that creates the signature sparks such as Iron which produces orange sparks, or Titanium which produces white sparks.
  • Sulphur or Charcoal to adjust the burning speed
  • An oxidizer such as Potassium Nitrate
  • Colourants such as copper which produce coloured flames
  • A bonding substance that holds everything together and allows for combusting, like Dextrin

How do sparklers work?

A sparkler is made up of a metal stick that has been dipped in combustible batter comprising several different chemicals designed to produce different effects. When lit at the tip, the combustible material around the metal stick will activate and start to produce effects, slowly burning down towards the base. Once the entirety of the combustible material has been used up, the sparkler will go out.

Why do sparklers not burn you?

The thermal energy required to actually burn you would need to be greater than that of a sparkler. A sparkler’s mass and temperature are such that they wouldn’t do damage to your skin (unless making direct contact). The sparks that come off of a sparkler are so small and short-lived that they aren’t able to burn you, although it might feel like a mild pricking sensation.

How hot do sparklers burn?

Depending on the materials used to make a sparkler, it will burn between 1,000°C and 1,600°C. This is sufficiently hot to cause burns to the skin if direct contact is made.

Do sparklers work in the rain?

As sparklers burn at a very high temperature, a little rain won’t affect them. If it’s raining quite heavily, though, you run the risk of your sparklers being extinguished. Once wet it’s much harder to relight a sparkler, so if you’re experiencing heavy rain it might be better to wait for it to pass altogether.

What are cold sparklers?

Also known as ‘cold effect sparklers’, or ‘cold sparkler fountains’, ice fountains emit sparks that are cold to the touch and will not melt a cake they fall onto.

Where to buy sparklers

At Chorlton Fireworks our range of sparklers includes gold sparklers, neon sparklers, heart-shaped sparklers, indoor sparklers, and number-shaped sparklers for cakes and bottles. You can order sparklers online for delivery wherever you are in the UK with no minimum spend or visit us in our shop at 350 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8AZ.

Where can I buy champagne bottle sparklers?

Sparklers or ice fountains can make a champagne bottle look extra special on someone’s birthday or wedding party. You might want to opt for an ice fountain or indoor sparkler if you’ll be presenting the bottle indoors. If outdoors, you could use a larger sparkler like a gold sparkler.

What are wedding sparklers?

Sparklers make a classy addition to a wedding and offer a wonderful photo opportunity. We stock special 70cm wedding sparklers that are longer than average and offer 90 seconds of burning time. These could be fixed to your wedding arches or given out to guests to hold and take photos of.

Can you buy sparklers online UK?

Sparklers are widely available to buy online in the UK. At Chorlton Fireworks, our full range of fireworks and sparklers are available for delivery throughout the UK. We can even deliver in as little as one day to addresses in the North West.

How much is a box of sparklers?

On our website and in our shop we offer a great selection of fireworks sparklers at low prices. Our individual number sparklers for cakes are only £2 each. Ou cheapest is a pack of 5 10” sparklers for just £1. If you need to buy a bulk pack of sparklers for a business or a large event, we stock a pack of 320 18” sparklers for £10.

Are sparklers illegal?

Sparklers are not illegal in the UK, but they are subject to some restrictions:

  • You cannot buy sparklers if you are under 18.
  • You must supervise any child under 12 while they are using sparklers.
  • As a business, you must hold Street Trading Consent with your local council to sell sparklers.
  • As a business, you must be licensed by your local fire department to store sparklers on your premises.

When can you buy sparklers?

Only shops with a fireworks license can sell sparklers all year round. At Chorlton Fireworks we are fully licensed to sell fireworks and sparklers 365 days a year. Sparklers are available at most other supermarkets within these dates:

  • 15th of October to 10th of November
  • 26th of to 31st of December
  • 3 days before Diwali or Chinese New Year

What age can you buy sparklers in the UK?

Sparklers are classed as Category 1 fireworks, and as such, they can only be sold to people over the age of 18. If you look under 25, the shop owner might ask to see your ID before selling you sparklers.

Are sparklers dangerous?

If used correctly sparklers are not dangerous and bring a lot of fun to parties. But it is important to remember that sparklers present a fire risk. Here are some things to consider when using sparklers:

  • Always pass out sparklers before lighting them
  • Ensure you hold a sparkler at arm’s length and don’t walk around with it when it is active
  • Supervise any children under 12 with sparklers at all times
  • Don’t allow children under 5 to hold sparklers
  • Stick a sparkler in a carrot to make it safer for a child to hold
  • Put finished sparklers into water or sand to make sure they cannot reignite

Are indoor sparklers safe?

Indoor sparklers are safe to use as long as you follow the instructions on the packaging and stay alert to fire hazards. You should only ever use sparklers indoors if the packaging expressly mentions that you can. Make sure that if you’re fixing an indoor sparkler to a bottle or cake that you hold it at arm’s length and that it is put on a flat surface where all people and flammable objects are at a metre’s distance.

Can sparklers cause a fire?

Sparkler fireworks burn at up to 1,600°C so they can definitely cause a fire if they come into contact with flammable materials. Always make sure you use sparklers outdoors in open spaces unless they are indoor sparklers. Take care that the sparks coming off of a sparkler don’t make contact with your clothes or anything else in your surroundings that can catch fire.

It is illegal for under 18s to purchase or Attempt to purchase fireworks
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