Fireworks are a family favorite when it comes to many holiday celebrations, but can you do fireworks in the rain?
Although they’re an exciting way to spice up your at-home celebration, many dangers go with them.
When using pyrotechnics like fireworks, it’s best to know everything you can to ensure you utilize them safely in any condition.
While the weather forecast promised clear skies, that may not hold when it comes time to set off your fireworks.
So, what happens if it suddenly starts raining while you’re ready to start the show?
The chemicals inside the firework’s fuse need to be dry to work correctly and are unlikely to ignite if fireworks are wet. However, how well you store your fireworks and the severity of the weather are all variable factors for setting off fireworks in the rain.
What Are Fireworks Made Of?
Fireworks consist of an aerial shell. The aerial shell holds the chemicals needed to make up a firework.
These chemicals include:
- Oxidizing agent
- Metal-containing colorant
All these chemicals that combine inside the aerial shell are called the star.
The chemical reaction transpires once the fuse is lit, resulting in the beautiful firework display. Each element plays a vital role in the fireworks experience.
While fireworks are not necessarily airtight, oxygen from the air cannot supply the fuel quickly enough to allow an explosion.
An oxidizing agent is crucial to the firework’s structural makeup.
Compounds that quickly procure tons of oxygen, such as nitrates, chlorates, and perchlorates, are most commonly used as oxidizing agents.
The fuel for your firework is typically stable under normal environmental conditions but burns hot when ignited.
Standard fuels found in fireworks are elemental sulfur or carbon.
Additionally, combustible metals such as magnesium or thermite blends can add an element of brightness to the firework display.
A firework derives its color from light produced from the explosion’s heat.
After undergoing an intense chemical reaction, the resulting firework color will become visible and align with the element’s color used inside the firework.
Binders are essential to fireworks, as they hold the pellets together. Dextrin, Gum Arabic, SGRS, CMC, and Wheat Paste are common bonders found in fireworks.
Note: Burning ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) produces a rich, yellow flame.
How Do Fireworks Work?
The process begins with the mortar, the equipment you insert into the sand or dirt to hold the firework at a certain angle.
The mortar is the starting point from which you launch the aerial shell.
Gunpowder within the mortar explodes, forcing the aerial shell upward.
The heat and pressure from the gunpowder inside the shell cause an explosion as it shoots into the sky.
Tightly packed stars are what give fireworks their shapes in the sky. When they’re packed tightly enough in a pattern, that pattern is what you’ll see in the sky when the stars explode.
Tip: When lighting fireworks, following the label directions is essential to ensure you’re using them safely.
Can You Do Fireworks in the Rain?
What happens if you do fireworks in the rain? Firework safety is essential, and a big part of that is making sure you’re using your fireworks in the right conditions.
Rain is one of those conditions where a few factors will decide if you are safe to set off your fireworks.
As mentioned above, fireworks ignite by way of a fuse. This fuse is essential because it needs to be dry to light it properly.
If you’re attempting to shoot off fireworks in the rain, the fuse could become wet, making it difficult to ignite.
This is not to say that setting off fireworks in the rain is impossible.
If you had an evening of firework fun planned, but suddenly it started raining, there are some things you can do to combat that.
Having prevention techniques when planning a fireworks display can make your experience go much smoother.
You can’t always predict the weather, but you can use tips and tricks to be prepared.
Tip: Check the weather before scheduling your fireworks display. It may not be 100% accurate, but it will give you a better idea of which day is best.
How To Maintain a Firework’s Integrity
You can use a few tactics to set off your fireworks in the rain safely and effectively.
The first one is making sure your fireworks are kept in a dry place before use.
Store Fireworks in a Dry Location
Although the weather forecast may have claimed clear skies were expected, that may not always be the case.
Rather than have your fireworks set out long before you plan to ignite them, store them in a dry place for safekeeping.
If you have your fireworks set out beforehand and it suddenly starts pouring, the fuse will become saturated with water.
When the fuse is wet, it can’t spark properly and your firework is likely to fail.
On the other hand, if you’re fireworks are stored in a dry place when it starts raining, you will likely still be able to set them off without worrying about the fuse being too wet.
Cover Your Fireworks For Protection
Another way to make sure your fireworks are ready to face any weather mishaps is by covering them with a plastic bag or wrap.
Using this method to protect the firework fuse and its cardboard exterior is a great way to keep its integrity intact.
It is best to leave the cover on until you’re ready to ignite the fireworks.
Examine the Fuse
To further ensure safety when igniting a firework, you should check the fuse to confirm it is dry and intact.
This will make it so you have no issues setting off your fireworks and can enjoy the fun.
Tip: Wrapping the fuse in plastic wrap before ignition can help ensure it stays intact and dry.
How Much Rain, Is Too Much Rain?
Setting off fireworks in the rain is possible. You should be fine if you’re planning to set off fireworks and it has just started drizzling.
As long as your fuse is dry and intact, there should be no problems setting off your fireworks.
However, If the weather has taken a heavier turn like heavy rain, thunder, or lighting, you may want to hold off on the festivities for now.
Most outdoor activities are put on hold in case of a thunderstorm, and your fireworks should be too.
If the rain is heavy, it can affect your firework ignites. Heavy rain will soak the fuse, meaning it won't light properly.
Heavy winds can also blow the firework debris in all directions if it whips up during the display.
When setting off fireworks, you want to make sure there’s plenty of distance between the firework, you, and any structures nearby.
If there are heavy winds while you’re setting off the firework, it can blow the firework towards nearby structures, leading to a dangerous situation.
Tip: If the rain is heavy enough to cloud your vision, it’s likely too heavy to set off fireworks safely.
Read Next: Can You Jump Start a Car in the Rain?
With the basics of firework safety laid out, you have a better understanding of can you do fireworks in the rain?
Knowing preventative tactics and overall firework care is a great way to make your firework experience more enjoyable.
If you plan to set fireworks off in rainy weather, remember to make sure the fuse is dry and adequately intact. If you light a firework and it doesn’t shoot off properly, do not try to light it again.
It’s best to leave it alone and take it back to the store for defectiveness if necessary.
If you’re unsure how to set up your firework correctly, check the label and follow the directions to ensure everything is done correctly.
Incorporating some of these tips and tricks will leave you with an enjoyable fireworks experience when you are ready for the show.