Sparklers really give a spark of excitement to the user. After all, these long sparkling sticks are the only variety of firework that is actually meant to be held in the hand. Talk about a hands-on adrenaline rush, sparklers are flashy and fun way to add a not-so-dangerous diversion to your event. This type of “entry-level” pyrotechnic element has long been a crowd pleaser at parties, weddings and night-time shin-digs, most likely because guests can get in on the action.
Sparklers come in a range of styles, but all spew off a fountain of sparks from the burning tip downward. While the sparks always crackle down the rod, sparklers differ in what the middle is made of as well as the color and length. The core of sparklers can be created with a wooden stick or a thick metal wire. Because sparklers made with the metal center do not completely burn away, users must be aware not to touch the dangerously hot middle – heat reaches over 1000 degrees. Sparklers with a wooden core completely burn away as the sparks move down the stick. This cuts down the chances of accidental skin burns, but users do need to be aware of the risks associated with smoldering ashes falling from the tip. Both can be used safely with proper handling.
Burn time is positively correlated to the length of the chosen sparklers; the longer the stick, the longer the burn. Available in a range of sizes; 10-inch, 20-inch and 36-inch are the most popular with consumers. In terms of burn time, ten inch sparklers burn for about 45 seconds, 20-inch sparklers for about 2 minutes and 36-inch sparklers for about 4 minutes. Knowing the burn time is helpful information if you are trying to stage a fabulous photo.
Top choices in sparkler colors are silver or gold. But if you feel a little wilder, you can find sparklers in a rainbow array of colors such as red, green and blue or even multi-color. Some sparklers are made extra fancy and have distinct burning phases that change color and effect as the chemical compounds burn their way down the stick – like a little firework show on a stick!
Popular times to enjoy sparklers include the 4th of July celebrations, New Year’s Eve count downs and other festivities under the dark sky. At weddings, it is increasingly popular to have guests hold sparklers upward to create a sparkling aisle for the newlyweds to walk down. For birthdays, it is spectacular to bring out the fancy tiered cake lit up with a show of sparklers – just remember to do it outdoors.
If used according to the manufacturer’s directions, sparklers are considered a safe firework. If children want to hold their own sparkler, adult supervision should be given at all times. Other safety precautions to follow include keep for outdoor use only, hold at an arm’s distance, don’t stand near flammable materials, and do not touch the hot tip. Also, it is a good idea to dunk your sparklers in water to make sure they are completely extinguished.
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