What letter do you think of when you watch fireworks? If you’re stuck, just imagine the way fireworks stimulate your senses with sparks, smoke and sound. Instantly, the letter S comes to mind! Read on to find out all the other important “S” words in the pyrotechnic industry.
Saltpeter – an old-fashioned name for potassium nitrate (KNO3), an oxidizer often used in fireworks
Salute –loud report (explosion) that does not feature stars or colors
Safe and Sane – a category of consumer fireworks that don’t explode or launch into the sky. Fountains, novelties, smoke devices, sparklers, and snaps are all examples of Safe and Sane fireworks.
Safety cap – paper cap covering the bare end of quick match fuse to prevent premature ignition
Series circuit – an efficient and reliable method of hooding up electrical igniters in a series, one after another.
Series matching – ignition sequence where devices are fused together to ignite in succession, similar to a chain of falling dominos
Set Piece –a collection of lances affixed to a frame in a unique design of shapes or letters that are fused together with quick match to go off at once.
Shell of Shells – a large shell that is filled with smaller shells as other effects such as stars. When this device bursts, the smaller shells are ignited to create secondary bursts
Short circuit – when an electrical circuit for ignition fails because it is connected in the wrong place or has bare wires.
Shot – the number of effects in a fireworks device, such as as a 10-shot roman candle or a 50-shot aerial repeater.
Side spit – sparks and flame that shoot out from a fuse as it burns down
Silver Salute – similar to an M-80, this long silver tube firework is illegal.
Smoke Item – a firework that creates smoke as the main effect such as smoke balls, smoke bombs, and smoke canisters.
Snake – a tiny black pellet that makes a long column of ash that looks like a snake writhing across the ground.
Spark – a tiny, light-emitting particle ejected from a burning composition
Sparkler –A firework held in the hand that is a wire rod coated in a pyrotechnic composition that emits sparks
Star – small pellet that emits light and sparks as it burns
Sticky match – a type of quick match fuse made with black power stuck between two pieces of tape
Strobe – bright stars that flash repeatedly