Glossary – Firework Jargon

When looking for fireworks for sale online you may come across a number of different phrases that you have never seen before and therefore confuse you. Well, we want to make your buying process as easy as possible so I have put together a small glossary full of any keywords and phrases commonly used within the fireworks industry. There are even some cool facts included too!


When individual fireworks tubes are packed together, having their fuses linked, they are called barrages. These only have to be lit once as the fuse linking the various tubes will light each tube in turn. Additionally, barrages can vary remarkably in size, from just a few tubes up to many hundreds!

To put it simply, Barrages is the actual firework itself!

The term ‘barrages’ can also be used to describe various types of fireworks. For example, several Roman Candle tubes linked together would be a barrage of Roman Candles. so, just keep that in mind.  

Picture of 61 shot barrage Hell Raiser.
Barrage – Hell Raiser


This is a firework comprising a series of Roman Candles, small aerial shells, or a combination of both, connected together by a high speed fuse. 

Catherine Wheel

The Catherine Wheel is built so that the energy of the fireworks not only creates sparks and flames, but causes the wheel to quickly rotate, making the display much more spectacular. They can also be referred to as Pinwheels. 

FACT: The largest Catherine Wheel ever made had a diameter of 32.044m!

Picture of catherine wheel - Twist and Shout
Twist and Shout

Watch it in action here!

Category 2 (F2 Fireworks)

Firstly, fireworks are classified into a variety of different categories. Such fireworks have been tested in terms of type, purpose and level of hazard.

So, certain consumer fireworks fall under this category, depending on how much of a safety distance is required. All Category 2 items require the smallest distance of 8 metres or 15metres.

Category 2 sign on Fantastic Fireworks bangometre.
Category 2 – Displayed on Bangometre

Cat3 (F3 Fireworks)

Those consumer fireworks which require a larger safety distance than Category 2 fireworks will fall under this category. Category 3 items require a distance of 25 metres. These are the highest category of fireworks that the general public can purchase. They are ideal for use in organised firework displays, however are not suitable for use in small gardens. They must be used in sufficiently large spaces 

Category 3 sign on Fantastic Fireworks bangometre.
Category 3 – Displayed on Bangometre

Display Packs

These are bundles of fireworks put together by some of our professional firers that create a jaw dropping display! To summarise, it makes your buying process that little bit easier and gives you a put together display in one purchase.

Many display packs will contain a variety of fireworks including rockets, fountains and multishots

One of our display packs - Bug Busters.
Bug Buster Display Pack


These are a ground based firework that emits showers of sparks with audible effects, such as whistles and crackles. They come in a range of size and effects and can be an impressive way to start a larger display. 

Picture of a fountain firework - Volcania Mania
Volcania Mania Fountain


Firstly, mines have more powder per shot than any other firework you can buy and are therefore generally the loudest fireworks you can buy. Secondly, from ground level, they fire all their stars and effects in just one shot! And finally, they are commonly referred to as a statement firework, perfect for the opening of a display. These are not for the faint hearted!

Picture of a mine - Magic Minor
Magic Minor

Multishot Fireworks

So, these are basically multiple single shot mines all fused together in one package usually with varying effects. This is our largest collection at Fantastic Fireworks which consists of some of our best sellers.

A selection of our multishot fireworks - Redshift Rider, Galaxia, Mr Big Shot & Exclusive Selection.
Selection of Multishot fireworks.


Portfires are long thin tubes which burn with a bright flame. They are used to ignite other fireworks. Therefore, these are a must when purchasing fireworks.

Picture of our Portfires sold at Buy Fantastic Fireworks.


These are fireworks made out of paper tubes packed with gunpowder that are propelled into the air. When a Rocket reaches its maximum height a colourful star fills the sky. Larger rockets will display more stars when exploded and can also include other effects such as crackles. Finally, Rockets are said to be the best known of all firework types. 

Picture of our Dynamo Rockets.
Dynamo Rockets

Watch the dynamo rockets in action here!

Roman Candles 

For a while, Roman Candles burn gently whilst periodically shooting out stars, comets or similar effects. They vary in size, giving bigger effects as the size increases. Often, Roman Candles can be packed together to form a barrage or even a single ignition firework. 

FACT: Despite their name, Roman Candles did not originate in Ancient Rome, or Italy. Rather, they originated in China!

Picture of our Roman Candles selection.
Selection of Roman Candles.

Single Ignition

A Single Ignition Firework, as the same suggests, is a firework that you only have to light once. In comparison to a selection of smaller fireworks that must be lit individually. We like to refer to our single ignitions as a ‘display in a box’ as the lighting of the single fuse produces a changing display. These are popular as a finale item when holding bigger displays and are perfect for  birthday or wedding celebrations.

Picture of one of our Single Igniton rockets - Ragnarok.
Single Ignition Firework – Ragnarok.


Finally, these are small handheld fireworks that emit sparks and are very popular among children. These are perfect for any celebrations but are commonly purchased for bonfire night. 

Picture of Giant sparklers.
Giant Sparklers.


To conclude, if there are any phases you believe I have missed or want to know more about something then please contact us via email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Comments are closed here.