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Life, Limb, or Freedom - The Top Three States for Fireworks Accidents

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July 1, 2024
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Fireworks are a quintessential part of American celebrations, especially around the Fourth of July. Nothing says freedom quite like blowing things off of the surface of the earth. However, with great sparkle comes great responsibility—or at least, it should. Every year, certain states light up the sky not only with dazzling displays but also with a notable number of fireworks accidents. Let’s take a look at the top three states where the motto seems to be "Hold my beer."

Texas: Go Big or Go Boom

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes fireworks displays and, unfortunately, fireworks accidents. Texans have a well-known penchant for grand celebrations, and when it comes to Independence Day, they don't hold back.

  • Texans love to outdo each other with massive fireworks shows, often leading to amateur pyrotechnics trying to recreate professional displays.
  • The expansive rural areas give a false sense of safety, leading to people setting off fireworks without realizing how quickly things can go wrong.
  • The combination of dry conditions and high winds can turn a sparkler into a full-blown brush fire in seconds.  

In 2020, a Texas man decided to launch a firework from his chest, resulting in a serious injury that required immediate medical attention. Despite warnings, the allure of a spectacular display led to an unforgettable and painful holiday. On the other hand, he really showed us what a man with a canon in his chest can do.

Florida: The Sunshine State of Fireworks Fiascos

Florida, known for its sunny beaches, methamphetamines, and theme parks, also holds a special place in the realm of fireworks mishaps. The state’s love for year-round celebrations often results in year-round accidents, in spite of laws specifically restricting the use of consumer fireworks to only few days a year.

  • With warm weather all year, Floridians find any excuse to set off fireworks, from New Year's Eve to mid-summer BBQs.
  • Swamp gas in the humid, swampy areas create unique hazards when mixed with pyrotechnics.
  • Tourists looking to add some bang to their vacation can often be seen experimenting with fireworks, sometimes without knowing the local laws or safety precautions.

In 2015, a Florida man tried to set off fireworks on a metal dock, resulting in an explosion that sent shrapnel flying and caused significant injuries. The mishap became a cautionary tale about the importance of proper setup and safety measures. Plus, in Florida it’s always a good idea to double-check if that “alligator-proof” firework really is before finding out the hard way.

Indiana: Hoosier Fireworks Hijinks

Indiana might surprise some by making this list, but the Hoosier State has a surprisingly high number of fireworks accidents. With laws that are relatively permissive, Indiana residents have plenty of opportunities to create memorable mishaps.

  • Indiana's laws allow the sale and use of a wide range of fireworks, leading to more people getting their hands on powerful explosives.
  • Hoosiers love a good celebration, and they often go all out with their fireworks displays to try and outperform their neighbors in the creation of new craters.
  • The do-it-yourself attitude extends to pyrotechnics, with people concocting their own explosive devices, often with unintended results.

In 2017, an Indiana man attempted to launch fireworks from a homemade contraption, only for it to backfire and cause severe burns. The incident highlighted the dangers of mixing creativity with explosives without proper knowledge. Or a fire extinguisher nearby.

While fireworks bring joy and excitement to celebrations, they also bring a fair share of accidents, especially in places with a lackadaisical attitude towards explosive ordinance. These states have mastered the art of turning a celebration into a story for the ages, complete with singed eyebrows and unexpected visits to the ER. So, next time you’re in one of these states and someone says, "Watch this," you might want to step back a few paces. Remember, hubris is the keystone in the downfall of empires and the loss of fingers.

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