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Can Fireworks Expire?

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Whether you are throwing a birthday party or welcoming the New Year, fireworks add plenty of magic and wow-factor to your event. You can find fireworks in all colours and with a range of effects – guaranteed to get both young and old excited about these wonderful products.
But what if you got a bit too excited when shopping for fireworks and you end up buying too many for your party? Can fireworks go bad?
Here’s a look at how to ensure you use fireworks safely and whether fireworks can expire.

No ‘Best Before’ Date

The short answer to the question ‘Can fireworks expire?’ is a simple ‘no’. Fireworks, different to many other products, don’t have any kind of expiry date and you don’t have to worry about using a product within a specific space of time.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to use fireworks you bought five years ago. It’s not guaranteed your old fireworks go off properly, if indeed, they set off at all.
So, if fireworks don’t have an expiry date, why can they fail to explode properly?

All About the Storage

Essentially fireworks are filled with explosivematerial and there are ways to disturb this material and affect its properties. This is why storing fireworks correctly is the most important thing to do.
The biggest threat to your fireworks is moisture. The gunpowder inside the fireworks only remains stable if there’s no moisture inside the cartridge. As soon as the powder is in contact with water, for instance, the powder becomes unstable.
Therefore, if you do stumble across an old firework, it’s crucial to check whether it has been in contact with moisture. Note that this could include any extreme temperature changes, not just contact with water.
Although you can typically tell if your fireworks have been in contact with moisture, you might not always notice any big patches of moisture. Just think carefully what sorts of conditions have been in the storage where you find the fireworks before deciding to use them.

Legal Restrictions

On top of the condition ruining your firework, you should also remember the regulations regarding the storage of fireworks. Even though you don’t need to set off your fireworks to avoid an expiry date, you might not be able to legally store your fireworks beyond a certain time.
We’ve previously written about the regulations surrounding firework storage. As a reminder, if you are storing large quantities, you typically can’t store them for more than a few days or weeks, unless you have a special license to do so.

Err on the Side of Caution

To conclude, although fireworks don’t come with a specific expiry date, you need to be cautious when using older fireworks. They might have been damaged if stored improperly. This might result in the fireworks not setting off or exploding in an unsafe manner.
If you aren’t sure about the condition, it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution and get rid off your fireworks safely.
Always make sure you are storing your fireworks safely and according to the regulations. If you do so, you’ll be able to enjoy these fantastic bundles of excitement!

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