Without doubt the most popular type of fireworks for consumer use are multishot barrages. Also known as cakes or batteries, barrages consist of a number of individual tubes fastened together and internally fused so that all fire from a single point of ignition. Each tube ejects an effect high into the air, which is known as a shot. Barrages are relatively easy to set up and this, combined with the potential duration and ease of ignition, means they form the backbone of most displays, providing continuity and of course spectacular effects.
Thanks to modern firework technology, the range of barrage styles and effects available is now vast, though the following are key types:
Vertically Firing Barrages
As the name suggests, these feature straight tubes which fire shots vertically. Most commonly shots are fired sequentially for a steady pace and sustained duration, but rapid fire barrages are also available which fire multiple shots simultaneously for a high impact effect, as well as volleyed finales.
These utilise angled tubes to eject effects over a wider angle, and can bring a very professional-looking touch to a display. Fans may be fired either in volleys, with several shots at a time, or ’running’ with shots tracking from one side of the fan to the other – often rapidly or in a Z formation. Again, the variations in firing sequence and configuration are endless, so you can really use fanned barrages to great creative effect. Always ensure the sides of the firing site are free of overhead obstructions if using fan barrages, and ensure that the right side of the barrage is facing the audience, to the fanned formation can be seen to best effect.
Barrages offer just about every type of aerial pyrotechnic effect available, from comets, crackles and coloured pearls on smaller pieces through to large peony, willow and brocade starbursts once you move up in bore size – not to mention hummers, spinners and flying fish, at the more exotic end of the spectrum!
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