Fireworks glossary

At Fireworks Boutique we know that sometimes it’s not that easy to know which firework to buy or what the difference is between a cake and a mine. We have put together a quick guide on what some of these mean, along with other strange firework related words you may have heard but weren’t sure what they were.

Category 1 (Cat1) Indoor fireworks

These are the lowest hazard type and can be used on small indoor spaces like domestic houses

Category 2 (Cat2) Garden fireworks

These fireworks present a low hazard and are to be used outdoors in small gardens. Spectators should maintain a safety distance of 8m

Category 3 (Cat3) Display fireworks

These are medium hazard fireworks and are intended for outdoor use such as large open spaces. Spectators must maintain a safety 25m safety distance

Hazard Type 3 (HT3 or 1.3g fireworks) 

An explosive (firework) which, as a result of, or as a result of any effect of, the conditions of its storage or process of manufacture has a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard, or both, but does not have a mass explosion hazard 

Hazard Type 4 (HT4 or 1.4g fireworks) 

An explosive (firework) which, as a result of, or as a result of any effect of, the conditions of its storage or process of manufacture has a fire or slight explosion hazard, or both, with only local effect

Rockets fireworks

A rocket is a pyrotechnic firework packed with gunpower and propelled into the air. The head is filled with gunpowder and it is attached to a stick. When it reaches it’s height it will burst into a variety of colours, stars and display effects. Rockets can be low-noise for small garden parties or for children, or loud noise upon explosion such as 1.4G or 1.3G.  Rockets are a staple must have for most firework events as they can be seen from a log distance as they fill the sky. An example of low noise fireworks include glitter pop and louder rockets include Astro, Delta and Mercury Rising.

View our Rockets fireworks here 

Roman Candles

At Fireworks Boutique we have a wide variety of Roman candles. A Roman candle is a firework that ejects one or more stars. Most Roman candles are low – noise and burn gently for a while and will intermittently shoot stars, bursts or similar effects. Generally, the bigger the candle the better the effects will be. They can normally be found in selection boxes however the bigger ones will come as single tubes. Good examples of roman candles include Crackle Blitz and Star Blast.

View our Roman candles here


A fountain firework is another staple piece for any garden party. They are a great way to get the party warmed up. Generally, in selection boxes and sold individually they shoot out a shower of sparks and as well as sound effects such as crackling and whistling.  

View our fountains here

Single and multi-shot mines

Mines are relatively short in terms of duration. They will normally erupt suddenly or create a spectacular burst and normally the loudest of the garden fireworks. They have more gun powder per shot than any other firework. These aren’t for the faint hearted and will make a solid statement that this is going to be one hell of a fireworks show!

View our mines here


These fireworks as the name suggested are shaped like cakes. They are multi shot and appear in most firework displays in one form or another. They consist of multiple tubes fused together to fire in rapid sequence. An example of a cake would be a Comet or Asteroid.

View our cake fireworks here

Barrage fireworks

A barrage is similar to a cake and shoots multiple shots. They are suitable as a grand finale at the end of a display. Perfect for a birthday or wedding celebration. They normally require lighting a single fuse and the rest will unfold in front of your very own eyes. Good examples of a barrage are Long Shot or Full Throttle.

View our barrage fireworks here

Catherine Wheels

A Catherine Wheel is synonymous with a good ole firework display. This is a tube that has been coiled around a wooden hub. They need a nail fixed to a post or immovable object and once lit will spin rapidly shooting out sparks. Good examples of these are Whirlpool or the Ecliptic wheel.

View our Catherine Wheels here


Sparklers are every child’s go to firework. Even as an adult you can’t remember many fireworks parties where there weren’t multiple fireworks being wangled about. These come in various sizes and colours but it’s important to still pay these huge respect as they are still hot well after they diffuse.

View our sparklers here

Portfires/ Safety Lighters

These are used as safety lighters to ignite fireworks. They last approximately 10 – 12 minutes and are about 1 ft long meaning a safe distance between you and the fuse.

View our safety lighters here


These fireworks are ideal for small garden parties or where there are young children. They are also more respectful if you have elderly neighbour or pets close by as the noise from louder fireworks is quite sensitive to their ears.

View our low-noise fireworks here

Smoke grenades

Smoke grenades provide a plumed smoke effect and come in multiple colours. Great if they are someone’s favourite colour or to create a smoky mystical effect.

View our smoke grenades here


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