A party popper is a pyrotechnic device commonly used at parties. It emits a loud popping noise by means of a small friction-actuated explosive charge that is activated by pulling a string. The explosive charge comes from a very small amount of Armstrong's mixture (a highly sensitive explosive) in the neck of the bottle-like shape. In some party poppers the explosive charge is replaced by compressed air. In party poppers with an explosive charge, there are less than 0.25 grains (0.016 g) of explosive. The streamers are non flammable for safe use. The charge or compressed air blows out some confetti or streamers and emits a popping sound. The charge is often composed of red phosphorus and strong oxidizer, such as potassium chlorate and potassium perchlorate.
There are also party popper revolvers on the market, which use a speedloader-style cartridge filled with six party popper charges inserted into a normally colorful plastic device loosely resembling a pistol or revolver. Its functionality is very much the same as a pistol; the depression of the trigger apparatus rotates the chamber so that a live charge is presented to a hammer, which falls onto a regular cap ring embedded in the bottom of the chamber. The chambers are one-use only.
Party poppers are generally listed as a novelty item or trick noise maker and are sold year-round in shops that sell party supplies.
Safety and precautions
Party poppers have been known to cause severe eye trauma or other facial injuries, and users are advised to aim them away from people.
Party poppers are considered as "indoor fireworks", and therefore are subject to legal regulation in some jurisdictions. For example, in the United Kingdom, party poppers cannot be sold to persons under 16 years old.
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