Fireworks: All You Need to Know about How They Work

No matter where you are in the United Kingdom, there will always be only one symbol of celebration that will fit on any occasion: fireworks

Whether it’s for a birthday party, engagement, wedding anniversary, corporate event, Christmas Day special, or New Year’s celebration, fireworks are the perfect choice for any momentous event. Thanks to the fact that these party favours can magically light up the sky on command, a bit of science and extra quid will make any event much more impressive! 

If you’ve been around many celebrations for a while now, you most likely have a handful of wonderful memories with firecrackers, sparklers, and whizzers that you’ll never forget. For those planning celebrations and parties to commemorate, the same memories make it clear that fireworks are going to be a mandatory part of the budget for the whole event. 

Once you’ve asked friends and family members about the fireworks they had in their parties in the past, you may be on the verge of knowing all you need to know about them before buying a set. During the weeks leading up to your celebration, there’s one question that will come to mind: “How do fireworks work?”

A blast of curiosity

While most of us already know what fireworks look like, a factoid that few know about is how they work. Growing up, our parents and relatives might have told us that fireworks light up the sky because of “magic” or “miracles.” However, the reality of how these party favours work lies in a combination of chemistry, ingenuity, curiosity, and a bit of a daredevil mindset. 

To fully understand how fireworks achieve the magic they adorn our night skies with, let’s go over all the different details that will help explain what goes on behind the scenes:

The components

Generally, the final effect that any firework pulls off is rooted in the three main components of any product regardless of how it’s shaped, the way it’s sized, or the colour it has: 

1. The fuse

Commonly regarded as the central hub of any firework, the fuse is a critical component that holds a pivotal role in delivering the boom, pop, crackle, and spark of any product.

Alternatively called “the charge,” this component is responsible for burning and igniting the other smaller fuses in the assembly of a product that brings colour to the sky. The fuse itself only gets to do what it’s developed to achieve when it becomes lit by electrical contacts (also known as “wire bridge fuse heads”). 

For public displays, fuses are electronically controlled by firework technicians that man stations with buttons that correspond to the functions of a display and the fireworks that comprise it. Once a button is pressed, an electrical signal is sent to the fuse that signals it to make its magic by igniting the main fuse! 

2. The charge (motor)

Another critical component of any firework display is the charge that is primarily responsible for shooting a firework up into the sky.

Depending on the type of firework that’s manufactured, the motor can vary depending on the specific height or trajectory that it’s developed or intended to achieve. Some fireworks might not have charges if they’re ground-based, others can have motors that go up to 80 metres, and others can have charges that can go up to 300-plus metres for full-on displays! 

For example, Lets Party Fireworks’ products use explosive gunpowder (also known as black powder) that can send a firework up into the sky without any risk of unwanted explosions! 

3. The head

Often considered as the final piece of the puzzle, the head of a firework is the most crucial component because it stores the effect that is the ultimate selling point of any product. 

Standard fireworks will always have a head that only has a single component, storing one effect for a large singular display. On the other hand, higher-end options can come with heads that feature multiple compartments that allow different effects to light up in sequence with the help of a time-delay fuse! 


One of the most effective ways to appreciate fireworks aside from watching them during public displays or seeing them in parties is to learn more about how they work inside-out. By understanding this guide, you can have a much deeper-rooted sense of appreciation for this amazing party favour the next time you get your hands on a few and light them up! 

If you need the best fireworks for weddings in the UK or for any other occasion, search through our full range of options today and enjoy a hassle-free delivery experience with every purchase you make. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!