Party popper

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.

The world record for most party poppers popped in one minute was achieved by Andre Ortolf, who popped 78 in one minute.[3]

Safety and precautions

Users are advised to avoid dismantling party poppers due to potential injury, and parents are encouraged to supervise children and instruct them on the proper use.[4]

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.[5]


  1. "party popper". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  2. Colin Bradley. "How Fireworks Work". Pyro Universe. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  3. "Most party poppers popped in one minute". Guinness World Records Limited 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  4. "Sarathkumar sustains minor injury on left eye". The Hindu. 2011-11-17. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  5. Lorraine Conway (2011-11-03). "Regulation of fireworks" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
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