The Fourth of July is a glorious time to spend with friends and family, eating suspiciously charred grilled foodstuffs, reading patriotic poems of yesteryear, and very likely losing at least one of your thumbs in a fireworks-related accident. According to the 11 very cautious moms on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, every Fourth of July weekend, at least 240 people a day go to the emergency room with firework-related injuries.
Because we at Thrillist care very much about your arms and torso and eyes and some parts of your weirdly hairless legs, we’re presenting a logical guide to not becoming one of those unlucky people who flew too close to the Z-firing fan cake.
In order to procure hot safety tips firsthand, I called my local fire department’s non-emergency number. When I asked for a few guidelines, I was told that, in California, only “safe and sane” fireworks are legal. I followed up, asking for a definition, and “Frank” (I’ve changed his name because he did not want to be named in this story and told me explicitly that he’s “wary” of the “media”) on the other end clearly did some silent Googling, and eventually came back with a list of things like sparklers, snaps, smoke balls, and fountains. It seems actual rockets and firecrackers, and anything you normally associate with fireworks, are illegal here.