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How High Can Fireworks Go?

Updated on May 29, 2011

How high do they go?

Fireworks are great for celebrations the whole world over.  Ever since they were invented by the Chinese they have been delighting us with colorful and beautiful explosions high above our heads.  But how high do they actually go? Perhaps it's a question we haven't really considered before.  Here are a few ideas about how high fireworks can fly.

Common consumer fireworks

There are plenty of fireworks available for consumer purchase.  Most people have tried small grade fireworks like bottle rockets- they whizz in the air and explode just a short time later.  These kinds of fireworks will explode about 50 feet in the air- not too high, but high enough to give a satisfactory launch.  

Other consumer fireworks have the mortar-shell construction.  These are like little canons that shoot a small rocket up in the air which then explodes in a colorful sunburst pattern.  You can find these available for purchase where fireworks are bought and sold, but they are much smaller than the professional versions.  Many times they are bundled together to create a launch sequence of five to ten separate shots.

How high do these mortar shells go?  You have to measure the diameter of the shell.  If it is one inch across, probably the firework will go about 70 feet in the air.  If it's a two inch shell, you may get closer to 150 feet.  These need to go higher so the explosion fizzles out before coming in contact with high objects like trees.

Professional Fireworks

These fireworks outperform the consumer fireworks described above, and their height is likewise much higher.  These mortar shell fireworks can hit altitudes up to 1000 feet high. It also depends on the shell diameter.  In this case, for each inch across in diameter, plan to see about 100 feet of altitude.  That means a 6 inch shell should go about 600 feet high!  

Of course, don't use these fireworks unless you are certified to do so.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea how to estimate the height of your fireworks display.  Always remember to play it safe, whether using display fireworks or simple sparklers, and you will enjoy a colorful celebration of your own!


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      Jake Higginbotham 2 years ago

      You should list fireworks that go the according eighth. Show people were to by them.

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      ethan kemp 3 years ago

      good job u old from