Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
See Firecracker (album) for information on the Lisa Loeb album.
A firecracker or noisemaker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal.
The sale of firecrackers is often legally distinct from fireworks. Some legal jurisdictions (such as Canada and Singapore) ban the public sale of firecrackers but allow some other types of fireworks to be sold. This sometimes results in the illegal and possibly dangerous modification of inexpensive fireworks, such as the common whistling "screechers", to produce a desired bang instead of their intended visual or aural effect. Other jurisdictions may allow some firecrackers to be sold within certain limits, especially regarding the quantity of explosive material they can contain.
The legal status of firecrackers typically stems from their notable effect on noise pollution as well as the issue of their safety, especially when used by children. Devices which are designed to explode at ground level are seen as more dangerous than those with a prolonged burn time and/or an aerial explosion. Proponents of firecracker sales sometimes question the consistency of these laws, pointing out that legal fireworks can also be dangerous due to the risk of high-temperature burns (as in the case of sparklers), and that projectile fireworks intended for aerial use can often legally incorporate a noisemaking explosive device as a last stage.
Note that firecrackers are virtually all scientifically classed as "low explosives" which burn through deflagration, as opposed to "high explosives" such as dynamite which actually produce a supersonic detonation wave. Some legal definitions nevertheless define banned firecrackers (such as the M-80 in the United States) as "high explosives".
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