Ah, fireworks, the stuff of patriotism and juvenile delinquency. Invented in the 12th century by the Chinese to blow up each other’s mailboxes, the pyrotechnic goodies have since become more closely identified with American Independence Day celebrations and trips to the emergency room. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks account for around 7,000 to 9,000 injuries, and an average of 7 deaths, per year. A quick glance at reports of fireworks deaths yields this pro-tip: if you light a firework, and it doesn’t go off right away, do not look into the launch tube!
Of course, the safest firework is the one you don’t buy. As a reminder to play it safe this Fourth of July, and to sate the bitterness of those living in a state where it’s illegal to buy fireworks, we present a salute to (non-lethal) displays of pyrotechnic panic. With loud report! (Warning: There is some seriously NSFW language in a few of them.)
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