Homemade fireworks sound like a great idea. Who wouldn’t like the opportunity to make their own, rather than simply buying whatever you find in those sketchy tents on the side of the road?
Making homemade fireworks, however, takes finesse. If you decide to go down the utterly stupid road of making homemade fireworks, here are some things you should definitely not do.
DO NOT …
1. Play fast and loose with whatever ingredients you’re using in the mixture. Will everything turn out fine as long as you include a little bit of all the chemicals you have? Probably not!
2. Let just anyone in the house make the fireworks. You need to delegate this responsibility strategically. You might pick the smartest person in the house to do the deed. This is the safest and will probably result in a more typical fireworks show. You might also pick the least intelligent person in the house, which is almost certain to result in an epic show inside the home. Note that the less intelligent your firework maker is, the more fire extinguishers you will need on hand.
3. Skip learning about the different chemicals that turn the fireworks different colors. Do you think it’s useless knowledge? There are instruction booklets for a reason! And Wikipedia for an even better reason. If strontium nitrate turns fireworks red and barium nitrate turns them green, you should know about that!
4. Decide to eyeball it on the gunpowder. Even though a single ring of toy gun caps is plenty to make a loud bang, a larger pile of gun powder has to make a louder bang. For each additional dose of gunpowder you use, stand another 10 feet back when lighting the firework.
5. Use just any old container to hold your creation. Most instructions are going to call for some sort of metal container. If you use the wrong material for your container, you might end up with a different sort of beast on your hands. Good luck!
6. Light the fuse and then sit there to get a front row chemistry lesson. Flammable items and items that explode cause a lot of damage.
There are plenty of people who skim over instructions and say, “Yeah, that sounds about right to me.” With a quick online search, there are also hundreds of videos out there of what not to do when creating fireworks from home because people have failed to follow any kind of safety precautions. Then everyone gathers around the computer to point and laugh at the people who weren’t too smart about handling fireworks.
The reality is that if you’re making your own bombs, it will be a crazy game of roulette when it’s time to light up the night sky. You should consider just buying some from the roadside stand. Skip the trip to the hospital.