"CPSC" or Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. One of which is consumer fireworks or 1.4G classified.


CATO is a failure of a rocket, generally explosive, where all the propellant is burned in a much shorter time than planned. This can be a nozzle blow-out (loud, but basically harmless), an end-cap blow-out (where all of the pyrotechnic force blows forward, expelling and igniting the payload, if any) or a casing rupture (which has unpredictable, but usually devastating, effects).

Burr Mill

A burr mill, a type of crusher having a revolving and a stationary abrasive surfaces, separated by a distance usually set by the user. The device includes a revolving screw that pushes the material past the abrasive surfaces. Both electrically and manually powered models exists.


Brocade is the name of a large gold chrysanthemum with characteristic stars that droop before they burn out. Brocade shells differ from willow shells in that they have a large and symmetrical burst. Brocade stars are often based on charcoal streamer type stars with added metals, for example ferrotitanium

Break Charge

A break charge, also known as a burst charge, is a small explosive charge inside an aerial shell that ignites explosively at the proper height, almost instantly producing a large volume of fiery gasses which ignites and spreads the contents of the shell.

Typical break charges (in approximate order from most to least powerful) are made from:

Bottom Shot

A Bottom shot describes the last break in a multi-break shell, the last break being a salute.

Video showing bottom shot:

Bottle Rocket

Bottle rockets describe any of a large variety of small scale skyrocket. The name derives from people launching them out of bottles and are usually attached to sticks for stabilization so they take a preplanned flight course. These small skyrockets have been made at least since the early decades of the 20th century in many countries including Japan, China, and the former colony of Portuguese Macao.

Blown Blind

The term blown blind is used in a situation where some or all of the stars when e.g. an aerial shell breaks or mine is fired, fail to ignite. The most common causes are inadequate priming or bursting/lifting them too hard.. If a break charge too powerful is used the stars in a shell will move so fast they fail to ignite or the flame blows out.

Blasting Cap

A Blasting Cap, sometimes referred to as a detonator, or simply a cap is a small device with a measured amount of primary explosive contained. They are used to detonate larger amounts of explosives, usually referred to as the main charge. Detonators generally have thick and heavy walls, as to increase the velocity of detonation (VoD) Some caps contain two explosives, a primary and a secondary explosive. These are referred to as compound caps.


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