Four Important Things To Know About Roman Candles

Roman Candles
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When most of us think about fireworks, the image of a magnificent display of aerial wonder likely enters the mind. It’s a fun, nostalgic, enthralling feeling. And it’s something that can be captured time and again with the right fireworks. Some types of fireworks offer just as much flash/bang without setting up or planning a massive show. We’re talking about none other than the humble roman candle. A popular firework can be used in any celebration and offers plenty of variety. Here are four essential things to know about them.

What Are Roman Candles?

If you’ve ever watched a fireworks display or lived in a neighborhood where your neighbors used various fireworks on the fourth of July, you’ve undoubtedly seen Roman candles in action. You’ve most likely heard them as well. A roman candle is essentially a tube with a fuse that fires off a barrage of pyrotechnic stars. These stars are technically shells, and the tubes are a few feet long, constructed from extremely heavy-duty, sealed cardboard.

How Do They Work?

Roman candles have several components that combine to generate their distinctive effects. These compounds work together to give them the sizzle and bang for which they are well known. Roman candles contain various compounds that work together to generate their effects. These are:

  • Bentonite (a natural clay used in cosmetics, toothpaste, and to help astronauts breathe in space)
  • Lifting charge
  • Black powder
  • Pyrotechnic star

Roman candles combine a lifting charge and black powder to produce gas. As the gas travels up the tube, it interacts with the pyrotechnic star (which contains brightly burning chemicals that interact with heat). When the flame reaches the lifting charge, it sends the roman candle’s contents into the air to create an effect that can be viewed from miles around.

Fireworks and their legality are regulated in each state, meaning every state has its own individual laws governing them. Therefore, the legality of roman candles. If you live in Indiana, on the other hand, there aren’t any specific restrictions. Ditto for Maine. Colorado allows a lot of different fireworks but specifically prohibits roman candles and mortars. California is pretty restrictive on anything that goes up in the air. Massachusetts doesn’t allow fireworks at all. Check your state laws to ensure you can legally use certain fireworks there before buying. Legality can also fluctuate based on weather conditions in the various counties of a state. If conditions have been dry or the county has a red flag warning in place, that could effectively throw water on any fireworks in that particular time frame. Always check your local laws, state laws, and ordinances before buying fireworks. But if conditions are right—and your area allows them—roman candles can offer plenty of fun for everyone.

Different Types

Although their name implies they’re a specific type of firework, roman candles are actually quite varied. First, you’re likely familiar with the standard-sized roman candle. Shots can be small, large, or extra large, depending on preference. They fire off vibrant colors, make a scary yet satisfying bang, and sizzle enough to light up the night sky. There’s something for everyone with roman candles, too. 5 or 8-shot candles offer a more subdued approach to the firework, whereas 10-shot candles make for a bit more bang. But roman candles excel with the multi-shot candle and barrage packs. Fireworks finales can be unrestricted by aerial fireworks. Sometimes, a 146-shot roman candle can provide just as much fun, spectacle, and excitement as chrysanthemums or other aerial fireworks. Anyone can buy standard and multi-shot roman candles online, making them a fun, varied, and accessible firework for all.


Safety is of the utmost importance as with anything that involves fireworks of any kind. Observing proper safety procedures and precautions keeps everyone safe. Plus, it makes the fireworks show more entertaining and enjoyable. You should never point them at a person, structure, or animal when using roman candles. The incredibly not, propelled shells can hurt someone or cause damage (perhaps even sparking a blaze). Concerning roman candles, you should always read package instructions, don’t relight them, never let kids play with them, always use protective gear, and don’t forget to keep a fire extinguisher handy. Safely using fireworks makes them more fun and memorable—and creates a better experience for everyone.