Fireworks sales, risk of injury up for Fourth of July

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The owners of Super Show Fireworks say sales are up 25-27% compared to last year and believe it is due to COVID-19 and people wanting to get out of their homes.

Co-owner Michael Parker said they initially expected sales to be down this year, but what they’re learning is because events and firework shows are canceled due to the pandemic, people are buying their own set of fireworks.

“We think people want to get back to a sense of normalcy, so we believe people want to get out and do something that really reminds them of when times were normal so people are coming in early and buying large amounts of fireworks,” Parker said.

Dr. Kathleen McKeon, an orthopedic surgeon at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, said that with an increase in firework sales, a spike in firework injuries is possible. McKeon said any hand surgeon will tell you July 4 is the busiest night for them.

“Even on a normal July 4, we worry a lot about hand injuries on July 4. Even when people can go out and go to firework shows in a crowd, people still do fireworks at home so yes, this year we’re certainly worried that’s going to be amplified, more people doing it at home versus going out in a crowd and watching them,” McKeon said.

McKeon said there are common mistakes people make when shooting off fireworks that results in an injury.

“Fireworks and alcohol do not mix well, so certainly just as you would not drive a piece of machinery while drinking, you should also not shoot an exploding object while under the influence. People will also light them in their hands and think they have time to throw them and won’t win that game. They’ll check on a dud firework or when they think it’s a dud firework and will pick it up and suddenly it will explode. The other thing that is important is to not let children use fireworks particularly unsupervised,” she said.

McKeon said surgeons will see some serious injuries that can’t be repaired, such as blown off fingers, mangled hands.

Parker said they take firework safety very seriously. That’s why they recommend people come to the shop early and talk to an employee. Parker said they’ll help customers find the right fireworks set for them based on experience and what kind of show they want to put on.


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