A forensic analysis of several samples of pyrotechnic artefacts was performed by Raman spectroscopy assisted by scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. Among the components, several nitrates, ammonium perchlorate, nitrocellulose, metallic titanium particles and shellac were detected. The combination of Raman spectroscopy and SEM-EDS showed very useful performance. All components were detected by Raman spectroscopy except for shellac, kaolinite and titanium particles, which were not conclusive enough and had to be determined by FTIR and EDS. In contrast, many compounds were not detected by FTIR. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.