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How to Buy Fireworks for Your Celebration

02 Jul 2015


What fireworks are best for your home or lake display?

Alabama has a love of fireworks and is one of the few places in the US that allows Class C fireworks (which have both arial and explosive capability). The rules about fireworks vary widely from municipality to municipality, so check with your City Hall or Fire Department in the area where you are planning to use your fireworks about these rules.

To make your firework shopping easier, here are the major categories of fireworks:

Artillery Shells
These are a chrysanthemum shape and come in a variety of colors and sizes . Artillery shells are launched out of tubes that are placed on the ground. Most go 100-150 feet high. There are two major shapes of artillery shells: spheres and cylinders. The cylinders can have up to twice as much powder as the spheres, which allows for a greater variety of effects. Artillery shells range in price from $20-200 and come in packs of 6-34 shells per pack.

Shelton Stalls, TNT Leeds owner, demonstrates loading an artillery shell style firework

These classic fireworks are placed in on the ground and shoot up in a “fountain” shape. They come in a variety of colors. From pinks and purples to red, white and blue for a patriotic flair. Fountains are legal in almost every state in the US in some form and thus, are the most sold firework in the US. They range in price from $4-$70 each.

In Alabama, multi-arials are best sellers. These are the pre-set assortments that we often associate with the multi shot finales at fireworks shows. A popular product by TNT, the Corruption, has 205 shots in one pack. There is a wide variety in the number of shots, colors, shapes and noises in the multi-arial product arena. Shelton Stalls, owner of Leed's TNT fireworks, says his personal favorite is the Dark Revenge by TNT because “it hits fast and has a unique color scheme.”

Assortments are very popular because they are an easy way to get a lot of different effects without having to buy a lot of one style. Assortment packs are priced widely between $15-500 and contain everything from artillery shells and fountains to sparklers.

Smaller Fireworks

  • Sparklers – hand held fireworks are a great starter firework. They are popular year round with wedding and party planners.
  • Smoke bombs – come in a variety of colors and send out a colored ribbon of smoke, usually for a few seconds
  • Firecrackers – noise makers come in single Poppers all the way up a 16,000 piece super firecrackers that take 15 minutes to finish.
Sparklers, smoke bombs and poppers are kid favorites

If you go crazy and buy too many fireworks to use this year, just hold on to them. As long as they are kept in a dry environment, fireworks should be fine for an extended period of time. Humidity can erode the quality, so do keep them dry.

Thank you to Shelton Stalls at TNT Fireworks for sharing his knowledge and love of fireworks.

Visit www.tntfireworks.com for videos and examples of all of the types of fireworks listed here.


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Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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