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.
“OK [Not Really Frank],” I said, very charmingly. “That’s all well and good. But I’m doing a NATIONAL story, and so my readers who live in states that basically have no laws, and resemble that remake of Mad Max that got the good Rotten Tomatoes reviews, would probably like to know how to keep themselves safe as they launch their TNT Golden Shower Fountains and Vengeful Texans at roving packs of wild dogs in order to keep them at bay, if only for now.”
Frank was silent for an awkwardly long period of time, and I actually thought he’d hung up on me when he cleared his throat.
“I’ve got a few things,” he said tentatively, and then sniffed a little. He could’ve been crying, I don’t know Frank that well and am not sure what’s going on in his life.
But anyway, here are a few of Frank’s things, supplemented by my own research and some good old American common sense: