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Whilst you're perusing fireworks you'll see reference to 1.3g or 1.4g at some point. So what is the difference?
The reference to 1.3g and 1.4g purely relate to the storing and transportation of fireworks. it's as simple as that..... well not exactly. Nothing in fireworks is simple.
All fireworks have a Hazard type and this is defined on the hse.gov.uk website as "Hazard type defines and describes the nature of the hazard arising from an explosive in manufacture and storage conditions" and these hazard groups go from HT4 to HT1 or 1.4g to 1.1g.
So for fireworks companies we are regulated by storage licensing which allows us to store fireworks to a maximum powder limit, oftern referred to as NEC or NEQ. So for a shop we're licensed to store 250kg of HT4 (1.4g) NEC. Meaning that when you add up all the powder in the fireworks we cannot exceed 250kg. It sounds a lot, but in practice it isn't for a busy shop. Hence if you've ever come in to see us at Bonfire Night, there's a chance that we'll be re-stocking from our larger off-site stores.
If within that 250kg of powder weight we have one single HT3 (1.3g) firework, no matter how small then this reduces to 25kg powder weight. However we made some major investment in Pyro cages, allowing us to store HT3 (1.3g) as HT4 (1.4g) so this doesn't affect or overall shop storage.
Some HT3 (1.3g) fireworks however, will be sold in Pyromesh cages. These are packed and tested at source in China and allow HT3 (1.3g) fireworks to be shipped and stored as HT4 (1.4G)
You still with me......
So as you can see these references are to the storage and transportation. So what is the difference between the two when it comes to the firework itself. It's basically down to one component Flash Powder. Flash powder is very volatile and it's the flash powder that gives the burst the BANG. A barrage or cake is made up of tubes with individual shots. The chemical component of a single tube cannot exceed 5% flash to be classed as HT4 (1.4G) anything over but inder 25% is classed then as HT3 (1.3G) anything over that is classed as HT1 (1.1G) but you;ll never legally find any HT1 in a retail shop.
Ok.. we've explained what the it means, what it relates to and why, but what difference does it make to the firework.
1.3g fireworks are often louder with salutes as the flash powder produces a bigger bang. 1.4g cakes may use black powder to make the bangs, usually a duller thud or there may be crackle to replace the bangs. I've seen some stunning 1.4g fireworks that tick every box and I've seen some 1.3g fireworks that don't really perform as they should.
I know some companies advertise 1.3g fireworks as "Bigger and Better" that's not always the case unless you're looking for loud, then 1.3g is the way to go.
Sorry if this was a bit long and complicated, but everything fireworks usually is. If you've any doubts then please ask before you buy.