Sparkler

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A sparkler on a Christmas tree
A "Morning Glory" type sparkler, emitting small pyrotechnic stars during this phase of the burn
Sparklers are popular fireworks for children.
Moving sparklers quickly can create attractive patterns

A sparkler is a type of hand-held firework that burns slowly while emitting colored flames, sparks, and other effects.

In the United Kingdom, a sparkler is often used by children at bonfire and fireworks displays on Guy Fawkes Night, the fifth of November,[1] and in the United States on Independence Day,[2] they are called Phool Jhadi in India and are popular during the Diwali festival.[3]

Composition[edit]

Sparklers are generally formed around a thin non-combustible metallic wire, about 8-12 inches long, that has been dipped in a thick batter of slow-burning pyrotechnic composition and allowed to dry; the combustible coating contains these components, one or more of each category:[4]

The colored spot on the top of each rod indicates the color of the sparkles emitted when ignited.

A more modern type of sparkler, known as the "Morning Glory", consists of a long, thin paper tube filled with composition and attached to a wooden rod using brightly colored tissue paper and ribbon. Several different compositions can be packed into a single tube, resulting in a sparkler that changes color.[citation needed]

Safety issues[edit]

A 2009 report from the National Council on Fireworks Safety indicated that sparklers are responsible for 16 percent of legal firework-related injuries in the United States;[5] the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's statistics from the Fourth of July festivities in 2003 indicate that sparklers were involved in a majority (57%) of fireworks injuries sustained by children under five years of age.[6]

Subsequent reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about "Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities" indicate:

Year Estimated Injuries % Estimated Sparklers-Related Injuries
on all Fireworks-Related Injuries
% Estimated Sparklers-Related Injuries
for children under 5 years old
2011 [7] 1100 17% 36%
2012 [8] 600 12% 30%
2013 [9] 2300 31% 79%
2014 [10] 1400 19% 61%

The devices burn at a high temperature (as hot as 1000°C to 1600°C, or 1800°F to 3000°F), depending on the fuel and oxidizer used, more than sufficient to cause severe skin burns or ignite clothing.[11] Safety experts recommend that adults ensure children who handle sparklers are properly warned, supervised and wearing non-flammable clothing; as with all fireworks, sparklers are also capable of accidentally initiating wildfires. This is especially true in drier areas; in Australia, for instance, sparkler-related bushfire accidents have led to their banning at public outdoor events during summer like Australia Day celebrations.[citation needed]

Sparkler bombs are constructed by binding together as many as 300 sparklers with tape, leaving one extended to use as a fuse. In 2008 three deaths were attributed to the devices,[12] which can be ignited accidentally by heat or friction; because they usually contain more than 50 milligrams of the same explosive powder found in firecrackers, they are illegal under U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations.[12]

In art and popular culture[edit]

Sparkler

An art group, monochrom, was planning to light 10,000 bound sparklers which it described as "symbolic liberation" to reflect that sparklers are generally used in monotheistic traditions.[13] A large group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada also held an event displaying 10,000 sparklers to symbolize brightness, intensity, warmth and creativity.[14] In 1999 the two artists Tobias Kipp and Timo Pitkämö developed a technique of drawing portraits with burning sparklers on paper, which they called pyrografie. Since then the two artists have drawn more than 20,000 pyroportraits.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "10 safety tips for Guy Fawkes". 5 November 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Fireworks Information Center". United States Condumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Sparklers for Diwali celebrations". 27 October 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Sparkler compositions". Pyrocreations.com. Archived from the original on 2005-02-13. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
  5. ^ "Sparklers 16 percent of fireworks harm". United Press International. June 22, 2009.
  6. ^ "The Dangers of Fireworks" (PDF). Topical Fire Research Series. U.S. Fire Administration/National Fire Data Center. 5 (4). June 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  7. ^ "Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2011", U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 2012.
  8. ^ "Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2012, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 2013.
  9. ^ "Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2013", U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 2014
  10. ^ "Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2014", U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 2015
  11. ^ "Sparklers Can Burn at 2,000 Degrees Fahrenheit" (PDF). United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b 'Sparkler Bombs' Mar Celebrations, Wall Street Journal
  13. ^ Free Bariumnitrate Archived February 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ http://ReinventWinter.net Reinventwinter.net
  15. ^ Pyrografie