Firecrackers are the simplest and oldest of fireworks. A single firecracker is comprised of a layered paper tube, plugged at both ends with clay. Each tube contains a small amount of flash powder which when ignited by the flame from the fuse, creates a large volume of hot gas in a short period of time. The building pressure of the gas bursts the tube causing the familiar loud "crack" or "bang".

Firecrackers may be small in size, but they pack a loud pop. Technically, a firecracker is a small explosive designed with one primarily goal in mind – making a loud bang.  The incidental the thrill of lighting the fuse, the smell of smoke and the quick flash of light are all just added pleasures for the firecracker aficionado!

Known in some parts of the world as crackers, noise makers bungers or bangers, firecrackers are made by wrapping an explosive compound in a heavy paper casing and inserting a fuse. Way back in the old days (pre 1920), firecrackers got their “pop” from gun powder – also referred to as black powder. This compound of gunpowder contained sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate to give the explosives a basic flash and blast. However, firecracker manufacturers finally gave way to the more modern flash powder which uses potassium perchlorate, aluminum powder and sometimes sulfur to create a louder pop and brighter light. Some brands of firecrackers are advertising that their products are super-charged with titanium for an even whiter flash and bigger bang.

Firecrackers are sold in a range of different formats to suit the needs of the customer. Often the fuses are braided together and the resulting strings are sold in packs or bricks ranging from small sizes of 4 to 6 firecrackers to larger packs or “bricks” containing up to a 120 or so firecrackers.

Considered an “entry-level” firework by many experienced in explosives, these little bangers have long been popular with school age boys and teens. Back then it wasn’t hard for a kid to round up some firecrackers and have a literal blast. Today, the laws about selling, buying and using firecrackers and other fireworks varies widely depending on the country, state, county or other jurisdiction a person lives in. It is always common sense for your personal safety and the well-being of others to always buy and use firecrackers under the guidelines of the law – and children old enough to be participating in the fun, should be under the supervision of an adult.