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Fireworks FAQ

Whether you're lighting fireworks for the first or fiftieth time, there's always something new to learn. Here are answers to our customers' top questions. But don't worry, if you don't find the information you're looking for below, don't hesitate to reach out to our fireworks experts by phone (1-888-502-5278) or email at We look forward to answering all your questions and and helping you create the perfect party, event, or fireworks display!

What makes a good fireworks show?

No matter what is the size of your display, a good fireworks show is one with a variety of effects--a sampling of items from each category--and a strong finish. We recommend building your fireworks display from the ground up (literally!), by starting with Fountains or a large spinning Wheel. Next, move to aerial items, progressing from smaller to larger fireworks and gradually increasing the intensity of your display. For your finale, make a statement with one or more of our high-impact Multi-Shot Cakes. Keep in mind that a good show always has a strong finish: a truly 'grand' finale will make your fireworks display one to remember!

Should all fireworks be buried in the ground or in a bucket of sand?

faq tinfoil

Not all fireworks must be braced or buried before lighting, but nearly all aerial items should be. For example, Cakes can easily tip over and shoot sideways if you do not properly secure them. This can result in serious injury, It is essential to familiarize yourself with your fireworks before setting up your display. All Canadian-approved fireworks have a bilingual label describing the item's effect and indicating the proper method for safe ignition and usage. Determine in advance whether you must bury or brace an item so that you do not have to fumble around in the dark to learn the proper safety precautions. Please refer to our Fireworks Lighting Instructions for specific information on the set-up and ignition of Rocket fireworks. Please also read our General Safety Instructions prior to setting up your display.

If I set up 3 or 4 fireworks beside one another, how do I keep them from going off all at once?

In general, Cakes can be placed side-by-side without concern for adjacent ignition, whereas Fountains, Candles and Barrages spit sparks and require more caution. if you have a group of Fountains, Candles or Barrages in a bucket, try the "Tinfoil Approach" (depicted at right). Place a tinfoil 'cap' over the wick of each firework to protect its fuse from sparks. This protective cap will prevent adjacent fireworks from lighting each other and will allow you to bury numerous items at a time, instead of singles only.

Untape fuses: Advance preparation for your fireworks display

We recommend that you remove the tape or protective covering from all fireworks fuses in advance of your Display. This will ensure a smooth, uninterrupted flow to your show, as each piece will be ready for placement and ignition when your event begins.

Always keep your unused fireworks covered and away from your ignition area.

It's tempting to keep your unused fireworks items close at hand so you can grab a new firework as the previous one finishes (thereby maintaining a flow). But be careful not to keep your unused fireworks too close! The reason is that if a stray spark or shot hits your yet-to-be-used pile, you can lose all your fireworks in one giant blast. This could easily result in an injury. You should always keep your unused fireworks covered, either with an inflammable tarp or in a cardboard box. Keep these fireworks well away from your lighting area. We encourage you to enjoy fireworks by playing safe!

Can I buy extra wick, visco fuse or cannon fuse in Canada?

In order to purchase extra Fuse or Wick, you must be licensed as a Pyrotechnic Supervisor by the Explosives Regulatory Division in Ottawa, ON (see more about the ERD below). The sale of Visco and similar types of fuse is strictly regulated in Canada and is not available to the public. The reason is that it is considered dangerous for an untrained or unlicensed person to make any alterations whatsoever to a firework--since this may endanger the user or present a risk to public safety. Instead of Visco, we recommend that you try one of our Remote Firing Systems for Consumer Fireworks.

How long do fireworks last / What is the shelf-life of fireworks?

Fireworks have a shelf life of many years so long as they are protected from excessive dampness, humidity or moisture. Even in dry conditions, chemical degradation may eventually result in less vivid colours or a slightly lower shooting height. However, this reduced performance is minor and will not be noticed by most people.

Ideally, you should store your fireworks in a cardboard box placed within a cool, dry environment with a fairly consistent temperature. You should also ensure they are inaccessible to children. Stored in this way, your leftover fireworks from Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Diwali or New Year's will be safe and ready to use for your next celebration.

Do not store fireworks in a sealed plastic cooler, plastic tub, or tupperware container: these materials prevent air circulation and may cause condensation, which can damage your fireworks.

If possible, you should leave long-term storage in the hands of your supplier: even if you order your fireworks well in advance of your planned event, why not set a delivery date closer to the time of your display? Rocket Fireworks will be happy to store your products until you are ready to receive your order.

What happens if I receive a dud or damaged product?

Rocket Fireworks guarantees the good condition of any product you purchase from us. Although it is rare for fireworks to fail or misfire, it can happen on occasion. In the event that you have a performance issue with one of our Fireworks, take a 3-4 clear photos of the item from different angles (making sure to get good shots of the tubes). Then email us with these pics and let us know what happened. Be sure to reference your order number or include a copy of your purchase receipt. If you live close by, you can also bring the Firework back to show us tin person. We will exchange your item or issue a store credit for your next purchase. Note: when you shop in person, it's a good idea to have a profile with us under your name. This way, if you lose your receipt, we will have a record of your purchase.

Is it safe to store or transport fireworks in my car?

It is perfectly safe to transport Class 1.4G (Family/Consumer) Fireworks in your car, truck or van. Up to 75kg can be transported in a private passenger vehicle. However, you should:

  • Always place them in the trunk, not in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In the absence of a trunk (e.g., van or pick-up truck), transport fireworks in a non-sparking container with a lid (e.g., a cardboard box) so they are not in direct sunlight.
  • Do not smoke while loading, transporting or unloading fireworks.

Can I light fireworks off year-round, or am I restricted to specific holidays?

The rules & regulations on lighting Class F,1 Consumer Fireworks differ in each area. For example, some municipalities in Canada allow fireworks to be set off at any time of the year, whereas in others the local by-laws restrict fireworks usage to certain days or times (or, in a few cases, even prohibit them altogether). Often, you can download the 'Fireworks Bylaw' for your area from your local City Hall's website. Otherwise, you can obtain information on the regulations in your municipality by calling your local fire department. In most cases, you can get permission to do a display on your property even if it is the off-season in your locale.

Where can I light fireworks? Can I go my local park or schoolyard?

Legally speaking, Consumer Fireworks can only be set off on private property, with the consent or permission of the property owner. This means that you can hold your display at your home, cottage or commercial property, or at a privately-owned wedding facility, golf club, banquet hall, etc. This being said, however, it is common practice--and a longstanding tradition--for Canadians from coast-to-coast to gather together at local schoolyards, parks or 'street parties' in celebration of Victoria Day, Canada Day or other official fireworks holidays. If you choose to join your neighbours in celebrating thusly, we simply urge you to use the same courtesy, common sense and safety precautions that you would use in your own backyard. Be considerate of others and always clean up after your use.

Can I light fireworks in damp or wet conditions?

There is no problem using Fireworks during a light rainfall or even a heavy snowfall, but you will need to keep the fuses dry. If the ground is very wet, it is recommended that you place Fireworks on a board (e.g. Plywood) so you have a dry, firm ignition surface. Make sure to brace or secure all Fireworks as indicated on the product packaging. Placing Fireworks directly on or in saturated ground is fine if you plan to light them immediately, but you should not leave Fireworks sitting on wet ground for long periods (e,g, longer than 5-10 minutes); otherwise they can soak up water at the bases and become damaged. Be careful about burying Fireworks during wet conditions--since sand, dirt or earth is often more saturated as you dig deeper into the ground. If the ground is especially wet, place a plastic bag around the buried portion of the Firework to protect it from moisture.

Can I buy coloured sparklers in Canada?

No. All Sparklers in Canada emit Gold sparks only. The chemicals used to create coloured Sparklers are pollutants and are not allowed in Canada.

Glossary of Canadian family fireworks categories:

View or Print this handy Fireworks Reference Sheet, which depicts and describes the various types of Fireworks available from Rocket Fireworks Canada.

How fireworks function / anatomy of fireworks / how fireworks are made:

We always receive requests about how fireworks are made. There are some excellent educational or reference sites on this subject, including: (1) A Nova Series feature on Fireworks, with Videos, Science and a Teacher's Guide (2) PBS Rough Science: a look at the making of fireworks, inlcuding practical descriptions of Colours, Lift-Charges and Fusing (3) The Chemistry of Firework Colours at (4) an informative presentation on Fireworks by Atlas Pyro and (5) an in-depth explanation of various types of fireworks at

I want to play with the big stuff! Where can I get my display fireworks license?

The Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) offers Safety & Display Operator courses in each province at various times of the year. A Display Supervisor's license will allow you to purchase fuse, take a lead role in Display Fireworks shows and so on. Please see the ERD website for more info.

Beware of the bait and switch!

Some Canadian fireworks companies repackage existing fireworks and then charge inflated retail prices; or they misrepresent the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) to make it seem as if you are receiving a large discount, whereas in fact they are charging the regular List Price or even more! Companies that repackage are banking on the fact that you will not be able to comparison shop because of their relabeling. As a consequence, they feel they can charge whatever they wish. In the end, we can only recommend that you judge quality against quality and value against value. Take a good look at what you are buying: Compare and save!

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Ordering fireworks online at is fast, safe, and FREE for orders $145+ in the GTA or $175+ across Canada. We deliver in 1-4 days to most Canadian destinations. Or visit one of Rocket's many retail stores across Ontario, with eye-popping selections of candles, shells, cakes, fountains, and complete "show in a box" packages.

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