How to Make a Fire Explosion on a Stage

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Knowing how to make a fire explosion on a stage is a valuable skill for theater personnel. It creates a powerful and stunning effect that audiences will find thrilling, and will spark conversations about the play even after it is over, driving new audiences to purchase tickets. Using flash cotton to create an ash- and smoke-free fire explosion effect is dramatic and showy while also being safe and keeping the costs of production low and allowing for greater profits.

Things You'll Need

  • Flash Cotton
  • Lighter

Thin flash cotton with fingertips by pulling gently and steadily until it forms a see-through sheet.

Place the flash cotton on a nonflammable surface. For effects in the air, it can be tossed or dropped once lit.


Light flash cotton with a lighter, torch, or spark gun.



  • The thinner the flash cotton is stretched, the faster the effect of the explosion.


  • Wadded flash cotton can burn slowly and cause severe burns. Do not light wadded flash cotton.

    Keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency.

    Keep a damp towel ready in case of emergency should the flash cotton come into contact with skin.