Fireworks Guide: Ice Fountains
Ideal for birthdays and other celebrations.
- Bright, silver fountains intended for indoor use.
- Can be used on cakes or attached to bottles.
- Low smoke and no hot sparks.
- Burn times typically 40 seconds or so.
The anatomy of an ice fountain
Ice fountains – called that because their fallout is cold and thus suitable for use indoors and on food – are also known as cake fountains. Virtually all of them are variations on a standard design:
The nozzle and lighting point: You will see the white internal pyrotechnic composition at this end. This is where you light the ice fountain.
Main tube: A card tube usually around five inches long and decorated in a variety of colours or foil designs.
Mounting pin: This is what you insert into the cake or other food to stop the fountain falling over.
Please note that on some ice fountains, the mounting pin is initially placed over the live nozzle end as a safety cap. You’ll know this is the case because the exposed end looks hollow. You must first swap the cap to the other end before you attempt to light the fountain or nothing will happen:
Mounting ice fountains on bottles
An optional plastic clip is available which enables you to attach the fountains to the neck of champagne or wine bottles:
Lighting ice fountains
These are very easy to light. Simply touch a flame on the end of the tube – ice fountains do not have fuses – ensuring that you’ve swapped the cap around if it was being used as a safety cap. The best lighters to use are those with an intense flame such as a chef’s torch or BBQ lighter:
What type of effects to expect
Most ice fountains are silver spark effects. Some are marketed as “premium” effects however these usually just burn for a little longer, in practice we have not seen a lot of difference between the various brands. The standard size ice fountains burns for around 40 seconds with sparks up to a foot or so.
Some ice fountains are marketed as having a specific colour such as pink or blue. Please note in these cases the fountains burn with a coloured flame rather than sparks. It’s less dramatic than sparks but the colours can be nice and blue and pink are ideal for gender reveal celebrations.
How much do they cost?
They vary a lot in price but expect to pay, for a single packet of 4, around £3-£5. Significant discounts are available from most firework shops or ice fountain sellers if you buy in bulk, for example if you are a restaurant or night club.
Novelty ice fountains (see below) usually retail for a little more.
Numbered ice fountains and novelty designs
If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, fountains with numbers on the side are available. They work in exactly the same way as the standard fountains above, but are a nice touch for such occasions.
You can also buy ice fountains with other designs on the side, such as Halloween decals.
Also available are musical fountains. Once started, the flame burns through a small wire across the top, activating a built in musical effect, such as happy birthday. These novelty fountains are great fun for birthdays and the likes. We use them a lot ourselves and find they’re so naff, they’re a great laugh. Particularly as the tune won’t stop playing until you physically destroy the fountain!
Further information and next steps
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