Fireworks glossary

At MK Fireworks King we know that sometimes it’s not that easy to know which firework to buy or what the difference is between a cake and a mine. We have put together a quick guide on what some of these mean, along with other strange firework related words you may have heard but weren’t sure what they were.

Category 1 (Cat1) Indoor fireworks

These are the lowest hazard type and can be used on small indoor spaces like domestic houses.

Category 2 (Cat2) Garden fireworks

These fireworks are low hazard and are to be used outdoors in small gardens. Spectators should maintain a safety distance of 8m.

Category 3 (Cat3) Display fireworks

These are medium hazard fireworks and are intended for outdoor use such as large open spaces. Spectators must maintain a safety 25m safety distance.

Hazard Type 3 (HT3 or 1.3g fireworks) 

An explosive (firework) which, as a result of, or as a result of any effect of, the conditions of its storage or process of manufacture has a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard, or both, but does not have a mass explosion hazard.

Hazard Type 4 (HT4 or 1.4g fireworks) 

An explosive (firework) which, as a result of, or as a result of any effect of, the conditions of its storage or process of manufacture has a fire or slight explosion hazard, or both, with only local effect.

Rockets fireworks

A rocket is a pyrotechnic firework packed with gunpower and is propelled into the air. The head is filled with gunpowder and it is attached to a stick. When it reaches it’s height it will burst into a variety of colours, stars and display effects. Rockets can come as low-noise suitable for small garden parties or for children, or loud noise with a bang on explosion, such as 1.4G or 1.3G.  Rockets are a staple must have for most firework events as they can be seen from a long distance. An example of our low noise fireworks include Glitter Pop and louder rockets include Astro, Delta and Mercury Rising.

Roman Candles

At Fireworks Boutique we have a wide variety of roman candles. A roman candle is a firework that ejects one or more stars. Most roman candles are low  noise intermittently shoot stars, bursts or similar effects. Generally, the bigger the candle the better the effects will be. They can normally be found in selection boxes, however, the bigger ones will come as single tubes. Good examples of our most popular roman candles are Crackle Blitz and Star Blast.


A fountain firework is another staple piece for any garden party. They are a great way to get the party warmed up. Generally, in selection boxes and sold individually they shoot out a shower of sparks and as well as sound effects such as crackling and whistling.  

Single and multi-shot mines

Mines are relatively short in terms of duration. They will normally start with a spray of colour then erupt suddenly creating a spectacular burst. They are normally the loudest of the garden fireworks. They have more gun powder per shot than any other firework. These aren’t for the faint hearted and will make a solid statement that this is going to be an amazing fireworks show.


These fireworks as the name suggested are shaped like cakes. They are multi shot and appear in most firework displays in one form or another. They consist of multiple tubes fused together to fire in rapid sequence. An example of our cakes are Comet or Asteroid.

Barrage fireworks

A barrage is similar to a cake as it shoots multiple shots. Whilst suitable for all displays the larger ones work well as a grand finale at the end of a display. You can buy large barrages perfect for a birthday or wedding celebration. They normally require lighting a single fuse and the rest will unfold in front of your very own eyes. Good examples of our barrages are Long Shot or Full Throttle.

Catherine wheels

A Catherine wheel is synonymous with a good ole firework display. This is a tube that has been coiled around a wooden hub. They need a nail fixed to a post or immovable object and once lit will spin rapidly shooting out sparks as they propel themselves to spin round. We sell the Whirlpool or the Ecliptic wheel.


Sparklers are every child’s go to firework. As an adult you probably can’t remember many fireworks parties as a child, where there wasn't multiple sparklers being used by everyone. These come in various lengths and colours. Although they may not look like much it is important to handle these with great care when lighting and even after, as they are still hot for sometime after they diffuse.

Portfires/Safety Lighters

These are used as safety lighters to ignite fireworks. You light them once, they then burn slowly for approximately 10 – 12 minutes, allowing you to light the firework fuse with them. They are normally quite long to help you to keep a safe distance from the firework.


These fireworks are ideal for small garden parties or where there are very young children who do not like loud bangs. They are also ideal if you have elderly neighbours or pets. Generally these are the smaller fireworks. 

Smoke grenades

Smoke grenades provide a plumed smoke effect and come in multiple colours. Great if they are someone’s favourite colour to create a smoky mystical effect to enjoy or take photo against. They are especially popular at weddings and music videos.

Other terms for fireworks

Polish – fajerwerki

Romanian - focuri de artificii

Chinese Simplified - 烟花

Chinese Traditional - 煙火

Slovak – ohňostroje