Fireworks are a Blast and Dangerous - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/03/07

Fireworks are a Blast and Dangerous

A mannequin head after being hit with a mortar firework. A mannequin head after being hit with a mortar firework.
A small blaze ended with huge flames and a mattress in shreds in just a matter of minutes. A small blaze ended with huge flames and a mattress in shreds in just a matter of minutes.
A pineapple exploding from a firework. A pineapple exploding from a firework.

Almost 9,000 people are treated at hospitals around the nation every year for fireworks related injuries. Injuries that can happen because of negligence, like staring into a blast tube to see what was inside.

And just one firecracker can do a lot of damage.  "Fireworks are inherently dangerous whether they are legal or illegal in the state of Georgia," according to Captain Matt Stanley, public information officer for the Savannah Fire Department.

The Savannah Fire Department helped WTOC safely demonstrate just that. With a mortar firework, a little help from some fruit, and a mannequin head. The results show that firecrackers are potentially disastrous.

But the fireworks used in the demonstration aren't legal in Georgia. But that doesn't mean that sparklers and fountains are safe. In fact, they can be just as dangerous. "The assumption is that it's like a big sparkler, which it is," says Stanley. "But sparks are little bits of ember they can cause fire, they can cause burns."

In one the fire department's demonstrations, a small blaze ended with huge flames and a mattress in shreds in just a matter of minutes.

It may seem extreme, but officials say that's exactly what can happen when children get a hold of matches and a fountain firework. "A lot of smaller children, they are afraid to get into trouble, so they tend to say oh no what have we done and run and hide from the event," explains Stanley. "They may even go as far as to hide in a bathroom or closet or something and then get trapped by the fire."

Fire officials say supervision is the key. Keep an eye on your kids and your fireworks on the Fourth, to make sure your favorite chair doesn't end up in flames.

And remember, you could pay with an injury, or in big dollars. If you set someone else's home on fire with a firework, you are responsible for the damages. They could sue you for the cost of repairs.

Click here for a list of the better options this Fourth of July, like professional shows around the area.

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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