Welcome to the Pyro Purity Test!

Copyright © 1994 John H. DuBois III

Check all boxes for which your answer is “yes”.
For references to the Fourth of July, you may substitute your culture's holiday that has the highest pyrotechnic component.
The “submit” button is at the bottom.

  1. Small scale
    1. Did you play with matches as a child?
    2. Do your friends try to keep you away from matches and lighters?

    3. Have you…
    4. created explosions by 4 or more non-pyrotechnic means?
    5. been in a match war?
    6. made a tennis ball cannon?
    7. made a smokebomb?

  2. Fun
    1. Do you…
    2. think the Fourth of July is the best holiday of the year?
    3. get a deep sense of fulfillment from a large explosion?

    4. Have you…
    5. had a major pyrotechnic outing on a day other than the 4th?
    6. bought out a store's stock of aerosol products to use as flamethrowers?
    7. sprayed far more lighter fluid on the barbecue or fire than it actually needed?

  3. Fireworks
    1. Do you remember with absolute clarity the first time you saw a firecracker go off?

    2. Have you…
    3. spent more than $100 on a Fourth of July?
    4. spent more than $1000 on pyrotechnics in your life?
    5. mail ordered fireworks?
    6. participated in a rocket war?

  4. Rocketry
    1. Have you made a rocket engine?
      • … if so, did it work?
    2. Do you know what the components of the model rocket engine code stand for and understand the units?
    3. Have you…
    4. used a “G” or larger rocket engine?
    5. made and successfully launched a rocket carrying lb. (100 g) or more of explosive?

  5. Chemistry
    1. Have you taken a chemistry class mainly to improve your pyrotechnic skills?
    2. Do you own any pyrotechnics books?

    3. Do you know…
    4. the difference between a high and low explosive?
    5. the formulas for 5 or more explosive powders?
    6. what TNT and PETN stand for?
    7. how much chemical energy is in a ton of TNT?
    8. what Tetryl, Hexogen, Cordite, Gelignite, Amatol, and Cordtex are?
    9. three or more different names for black powder?
    10. the systems for rating the sensitivity and power of explosives?

  6. Manufacturing
    1. Did you make an explosive device before the age of 10?

    2. Have you…
    3. used black powder?
    4. made black powder?
    5. used flash powder?
    6. used a high explosive?
    7. made a high explosive?
    8. used 3 or more high explosives?
    9. made an explosive device containing more than 1 lb. ( kg) of powder?
    10. made an explosive device larger than 1 cubic foot (16 L?)
    11. used up all of your or someone else's pipe fittings for explosive cases?
    12. blown multicolored nasal mucus due to grinding up pyrotechnic compositions without an effective dust mask?
    13. ordered 25 lb. (11 kg) or more of pyrotechnic chemicals at once?
    14. bought an oxidizer in bulk from an outlet other than a chemistry supply (drugstore, nursery, hardware store, etc.)?
    15. had a delivery person drop a package on your doorstep and run away without waiting for a signature, presumably due to the warning labels?
    16. made a mortar shell?

  7. Explosions
    1. Have you…
    2. created a crater a yard (meter) or more across?
    3. set off a homemade explosive device every day for a week or more?
    4. moved people 50′ (15 m) or more away from your site on the 4th of July before setting something off?
    5. done anything that lit up the sky from horizon to horizon?
    6. created a geyser 100′ (30 m) or more tall?
    7. created a fireball 30′ (10 m) or more across?
    8. fractured a boulder that massed 10 tons or more?
    9. blown up a structure (doghouse, gazebo, outhouse, etc.) intentionally?
    10. blown locks off of doors?
    11. blown open a safe, chest, etc.?
    12. booby-trapped anything with an explosive device?
    13. intentionally caused a model airplane to blow up in midflight?
    14. made a rocket or large projectile with an impact-fuzed warhead?
      • … if so, did it work?

  8. Accidents
    1. Have you…
    2. at any time lost your eyebrows or a significant amount of hair to flame?
    3. caused a serious fire?
    4. thought that something you just did was going to burn down the block?
    5. had a fire in your workshop?
    6. blown the roof off of your workshop?
    7. started a brush or yard fire with a pyrotechnic device?
    8. had an explosive device go off in your hand because you held it too long?
    9. been smoked out of your workshop?
    10. had a chemical experiment leave bits of laboratory apparatus embedded in your body?
    11. been slowly forced out of your workshop by a cataclysmically overreacting experiment?
    12. been seriously injured by a pyrotechnic creation?
      • … if so, did the injuries require professional medical treatment?
        • … if so, was the bill in excess of $1000?

  9. Legal
    1. Have you…
    2. ordered chemicals under a false name?
    3. stashed fireworks or chemicals with a friend due to a feared police visit?
    4. tossed lit fireworks from a moving vehicle?
      • … done it to dispose of them while being chased by the police?
    5. been arrested for a pyrotechnic offense?
    6. Do you know 5 or more other people who have been arrested for pyrotechnic offenses?

  10. Reputation
    1. Were you known at your high school as a pyro?
    2. When friends see you running away from something, do they drop everything and run away too without asking questions?
    3. Do people often ask you if you were the source of that explosion they heard the other day?
    4. Do people ask you for advice on what fireworks to buy?
    5. Have you had your parents/guardians leave town on the 4th of July so they would not have to receive calls from the police or hospital?
    6. Have you had housemates/neighbors tell you in a serious manner that they thought that an earthquake was you testing something out back?
    7. Have you had people ask you to exact pyrotechnic revenge for them?
    8. Have you had neighbors complain about loud noises or large flames in your back yard?

  11. Recklessness
    1. Have you…
    2. searched military ranges for dud ordnance?
      • … disassembled what you found?
    3. burned or blown up an article of clothing while wearing it?
      • … done so on purpose so it would look “cool”?
    4. set off a large explosive in your workshop?
    5. attempted to mow your lawn with a flame thrower?
    6. put explosive dents in objects so they would look “cool”?
    7. held a mortar as it fired?
    8. attempted to intentionally ignite a building?
    9. Would you like to see a nuclear explosion first-hand?

  12. Miscellaneous
    1. Can you tell when people are fabricating pyrotechnic experiences?
    2. At any time in your life, have all of your friends been true pyros?
    3. Do you own any t-shirts with pyrotechnic messages on them?
    4. Do you like the smell of an open can of gasoline on a warm summer evening?

Good going!


This test written by John DuBois
To John DuBois' Pyrotechnics Page
If you have ideas for questions that could appear on an expanded (initially 150 point) pyro purity test, feel free to mail them to me. Any such ideas sent to me become my property. They should be substantially different than the questions that appear on this test and not too specific (e.g. minor variations on a theme). Please don't be offended if any questions you send me don't appear on a new test (which for that matter may never come about).