What is a firecracker?

   A firecracker is a kind of fireworks that explodes and makes a noise resembling gunfire. One of the commonest and most inexpensive of fireworks, firecrackers are now illegal in most states of the United States because they are so very dangerous.
   The small firecracker, or Chinese cracker, is a small paper tube filled with charcoal and gunpowder. A chemically treated piece of string is used for a fuse. The United States once imported millions of these from China for U.S. Independence Day (Fourth of July) celebrations.
   An American variant of the Chinese cracker was the cannon cracker. It was merely an enlarged version of the Chinese cracker. Often 1 foot long and 2 inches wide, it was usually loaded with a large amount of blasting powder. These extremely dangerous firecrackers were mainly responsible for the large number of people killed, blinded, and wounded on the Fourth of July.
   Firecrackers are used in military training to simulate the sound of gunfire. Because they are so dangerous, firecrackers should not be used for celebrations, even where legal.