ISO 800, f/11.0. 0.6 Second
A sparkler is a type of hand-held firework that burns slowly while emitting colored flames, sparks, and other effects.
The "classic" type of sparkler consists of a thin metal rod approximately 20 cm (8 inches) long that has been dipped in a thick batter of slow-burning pyrotechnic composition and allowed to dry. The composition contains these components, one or more of each category:
Metallic fuel, mandatory to make sparks; size of particles influences appearance of the sparks
Aluminium or magnesium or magnalium, producing white sparks
Iron, producing orange branching sparks
Titanium, producing rich white sparks
Ferrotitanium, for yellow-gold sparkles
Additional fuel, optional, modifying the burning speed
Potassium perchlorate, more powerful but potentially explosive
Optional pyrotechnic colorants, for colored flames
chlorides and nitrates of metals, e.g. barium, strontium, or copper
Combustible binder, holding the composition together
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.
Sparklers are responsible for the vast majority of legal firework-related injuries. The most common situation for injuries occurs when lit sparklers are given to unsupervised children, many of whom may not understand the risks. The devices burn at a high temperature (as hot as 1800 to 3000° F, or 1000 to 1600° C), depending on the fuel and oxidizer used, more than sufficient to cause severe skin burns or ignite clothing. Safety experts recommend that adults ensure children who handle sparklers are properly warned, supervised and wearing non-flammable clothing which cannot catch fire easily. Children who are too young to understand the risk of burns should not be allowed to handle lit sparklers.
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