A Quick Guide To Roman Candles

When it comes to shooting off amazing and spectacular fireworks on your favorite holidays or celebrations, the humble Roman candle has the potential to stand out among all the rest. They’re inexpensive, look spectacular, and can be a fun part of a larger fireworks display. But what are they, exactly? Are they legal? What kind of safety precautions should you follow when using them? We’ll answer all those questions and more in our quick guide to Roman candles. Read it below.

What Are Roman Candles?

Roman candles are one of the oldest and simplest fireworks around. At its most basic level, it’s a tube containing a charge of some kind. Usually these are stars or shells. In a more modern sense, they consist of a one to three-foot tube with a fuse on one end. Inside the tube are stars or shells (usually around five or so) that blast off into the sky as the fuse ignites the charge materials inside. As the shells fire from the tune, audiences are treated to a variety of colors, whistling sounds, and other cool pyrotechnic effects. They can also go as high as 35 feet, creating a spectacular show in the sky as the stars explode at a great height.

How Do They Work?

The roman candle is a pretty simple firework. So, we know it consists of only a few parts: the lifting charge (usually black powder), the container tube, the stars or shells, and the essential fuse. When the fuse is ignited, the flame moves into the tune. There, it lights the black powder. The powder goes through a chemical reaction that generates enough gas to lift the stars, propelling them through the tube and into the sky.

Buying Them Online

One of the best things about the internet is the ability to buy things online and have them promptly delivered right to your door. Whether it’s books, groceries, or furniture, shopping online is easy, convenient, and often less expensive or time consuming than going to physical stores. Did you know you can reap the same benefits from buying fireworks online? It’s not only legal, but easy to buy fireworks online. Everything from aerials and sparklers to awesome Roman candles can be purchased and shipped to most states in the U.S. Some vendors (like Red Apple Fireworks, for instance) also feature video demonstrations of the product on their websites, and even offer bulk discounts for larger purchases.

States Where They’re Illegal

As with many other types of fireworks, the legality of Roman candles does vary from state to state. To help navigate the treacherous waters of this area, here are a few of the states where you cannot use them:

  • New York
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana (only if they’re larger than a certain size)
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Every other state typically allows them in some capacity, as long as local laws, safety, and regulations are met. Some cities, towns, or municipalities may have specific requirements so always be aware of what your area allows and what they don’t.


Safety is the single most essential part of using these types of fireworks. Seriously. If you’re not planning to follow safety procedures when shooting off Roman candles, you’re definitely susceptible to getting hurt. No one wants that. So here are some tips for using them safely. To begin with, you should never remove them from their package until ready to use. Keep a fire extinguisher, hose, bucket of water readily available just in case. Don’t let the audience crowd around the candles as you set them off. Maintaining a 100 ft distance is an ideal, safe distance from which to enjoy the show. Open spaces, clear of any homes or vegetation, are your best friend when using fireworks of any kind as well. Use an extended lighter or a lighting torch. If it doesn’t light, don’t try to reuse it. Douse it in water and discard it. You should also wear goggles and gloves, being careful not to hold the candle in your hand as the fuse burns. Finally, you should track your candle as it flies through the sky and don’t forget to have fun!




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What can I say? I've got a passion for beards. The ladies love it, and I plan to maintain this masterpiece until the day I die. It may not surprise you to hear that I run our grooming section.

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