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July 4th, 2014 falls on a Friday!
Why is this significant? Traditionally, sales “skyrocket” (pun intended!) when the 4th falls on a Friday, and after the near disastrous selling season of 2012 when much of the country suffered severe drought with many states banning the sales and/or use of fireworks this year so far appears to be all systems GREEN, as in profits.
Sad news in the fireworks industry today.
Entertainment fireworks in Washington State reportedly had an accident while some of their crews were prepping for an upcoming display, taking one life and injuring two others. Entertainment fireworks has been in the business for decades with an excellent safety record and some of the most experienced operators in the business today. In fact, they offered one of the more respected safety training classes in the western U.S. and have successfully fired many high profile displays. As respected, active members in all facets of the pyrotechnic industry our heart goes out to those involved and we hope this serves as a harsh reminder to the thousands who will be working long days in the coming weeks with pyrotechnics to take ALL safety precautions.
There are over 100 “brands” of Fireworks in the world, almost all are produced and exported from China. China is home to hundreds of fireworks factories, most of them in the Hunan Province and centered around Liuyang City. The average cycle of a firework from China to your backyard is quite complicated and can take up to 9 months from the time an importer orders it before it arrives on a steel ocean container at their warehouse. Orders to China must be large, often times 400 cases is the minimum for just one item! Factories are making around 3,000 individual firework devices that include fountains, reloadable aerial shells, repeating cakes, roman candles, parachutes, sparklers, snap pops and many more popular items.
This will be a brief but informative overview of how fireworks are made. Fireworks are made of chemicals. When an external stimulus like heat is applied, the chemical bonds of the chemicals are broken and excess energy is released.
When certain chemicals are “excited” their electrons are released as “photons”. Photons are particles of light. Photons vibrate at specific frequencies or wavelengths and those wavelengths translate to colors.
Common chemicals used in fireworks are as follows: