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Highlights & News

March 24, 2015
Prepare for the season with APA Safe-T First, members click here.

February 25, 2015
Delays may continue despite West Coast Port labor resolution, read more

February 13, 2015

West Coast Port delays escalate, APA members click here for guidance. 

January 30, 2015

PHMSA issues NPRM to amend the HMR and adopt certain widely-used SP's, see notice.

December 18, 2014

FMCSA issues Final Rule today rescinding DVIR requirement.

December 1, 2014

FMCSA issues advanced NPRM on minimum financial responsibilities levels.

November 20, 2014

Former CPSC Chair Tenenbaum joins industry Foundation team.

November 11, 2014

APA files comments on Reverse Logistics NPRM.

November 6, 2014
APA files comments on EPA’s Request for Information (RFI) on the agency’s Risk Management  {...}

September 25, 2014
PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman stepping down, read more.

September 24, 2014
PHMSA clarifies policies for Display Shells with Attachments and Display Mines.

September 17, 2014
APA Board approves NGAP Charitable Foundation, details here.

September 16, 2014
Retailers face possible security breaches, make sure you are covered, see more

August 22, 2014

Scott Darling named FMCSA Acting Administrator, see more

July 30, 2014
Senate confirms new CPSC Chairman & Commissioner, read more.


Display Fireworks Glossary

Brocade - large number of spark trailing stars falling slowly in an umbrella pattern.

Cake - A cluster of small tubes, linked by fuse, that fire small aerial effects at a rapid pace. Tube diameters can range in size from ¼ inch to 4 inches, and can sometimes have over 1,000 shots. These are often used in large quantities as part of a show’s finale. The variety of effects within individual cakes is often such that they defy descriptive titles. Others are simply quantities of 2.5”-4” shells fused together in single-shot tubes.

Chrysanthemum - A spherical break of colored stars, similar to a peony, but with stars that leave a visible trail of sparks.

Crossette - A shell containing several large stars that travel a short distance before breaking apart into smaller stars with a loud crackling sound, creating a crisscrossing grid-like effect.

Dahlia-  Stars travel a longer-than-usual distance from the shell break before burning out, similar to peony shell but with fewer and larger stars, some shells are cylindrical rather than spherical to allow for larger stars.

Falling Leaves - Stars twinkle and flutter down.

Farfalle - Italian Butterfly.

Fish - Large inserts that propel themselves rapidly away from the shell burst, often looking like a fish swimming away.

Mine - A ground firework that expels stars and/or other garnitures into the sky; consists of a canister with the lift charge on the bottom with the effects placed on top, shot from mortar like a shell. Mines can project small reports, serpents, small shells, and stars. Mines are usually between 3 and 5 inches in diameter.

Multi-Break shell - Large shell containing several smaller shells of various sizes and types. The initial burst scatters the shells across the sky before they explode. When a shell contains smaller shells of the same size and type, the effect is usually referred to as “Thousands”.

Palm Tree-  Rising comet (trunk) that bursts into six large trailing stars (fronds) and can also have small reports (coconuts). 

Pattern Shells - Aerial shells that look like maple leafs, rings, butterflies, Saturn, hearts, bows, smiley faces, snails, and more.

Peony - A spherical break of colored stars. Peony is the most commonly seen shell type.

Pistil - The centre sphere of stars in a spherical burst shell which contains an outer sphere of stars. 

Crackling Rain - An effect created by large, slow-burning stars within a shell that leave a trail of glittering sparks behind and make a loud sizzling noise.

Roman Candle - A long tube containing several large stars which fire intermittently at a regular interval. These are commonly arranged in fan shapes or crisscrossing shapes at a closer proximity to the audience. Some larger roman candles contain small shells (bombettes) rather than stars.

Salute - Shell containing a large quantity of flash powder rather than stars, producing a quick flash followed by a large report. Salutes are commonly used in large quantities during finales to create intense noise and brightness. They are often cylindrical in shape to allow for a larger payload of flash powder but ball shapes are common as well.

Set Piece - These utilize a   number of colored lances (small flares) which all together form a pattern or  word. They typically burn for one minute.

Spider - Shell containing a fast burning tailed or charcoal star that is burst very hard so that the stars travel in a straight and flat trajectory before burning out. This appears in the sky as a series of radial lines much like the legs of a spider.

Strobe - Colored stars that flash on and off. 

Tourbillion - A small, rotating device fired from candles, mines or shells which throws out sparks as it rotates eccentrically; it ascends and revolves at the same time. 

WaterfallNamed for the shape of its break, this shell features heavy long-burning tailed stars that only travel a short distance from the shell burst before free-falling to the ground. Sometimes there is a glittering through the “waterfall”


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