Video: Fireworks Are Fun Until They Blow Up In Your Pants

Enjoy yourselves out there this 4th, folks, but do remember to be careful with those fireworks, as seen in this edited version of the CPSC fireworks safety video set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It’s funny when mannequins blow up. Your hands, jeans, or the desk in front of your face, not so much.


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  1. I blame the victim. In all seriousness dont be an idiot blowing up shit is fun but use some sense if it seems like its a bad idea your probably going to lose your hand. Have a fun 4th dont be stupid.

  2. azntg says:

    Couldn’t resist Ben? LOL.

    And don’t forget the fireworks are illegal in certain states/counties/municipalities/etc. So, double whammy if you injure yourself and get caught by the authorities as well.

  3. ElizabethD says:

    One of my dad’s best friends blew his own hand off with a cherry bomb when they were around 12. My brother and I got to hear that story every July 3.

  4. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    That guy is going to want to get a lawyer. No where on the packaging did it say not to blow up m80s next to a watermellon.

  5. *sigh* I use to have a boyfriend who thought it was clever to shoot bottle rockets from his pants…

    Note: I said I USE TO have… there’s only so much stupid a girl can take.

  6. trinidon2k says:

    that was a really funny video. too bad stupidness like that really happens.

  7. Maulleigh says:

    My friend told me her mother never let her and her brothers play with fireworks. One night, the mother invited over an old friend of hers who had lost BOTH his hands to fireworks and had two hooks. :( Scary stuff.

  8. Dustbunny says:

    OTOH, if you DO blow up fireworks in your pants, you may be eligible for a Darwin Award. So look on the bright side!

  9. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Most fireworks are made in China, so it would be hard to bring a lawsuit if some defective cherry bomb blows off your hand.

  10. InThrees says:

    Just remember there are explosives and incendiaries, and non-explosives/non-incendiaries.

    Fireworks do not fall in the latter category.

  11. Those guys at the CPSC sure hate mannequins and watermelons!

  12. Geekybiker says:

    Its lame that since a few dumb people can’t handle fireworks correctly that they are all but banned in my state. Sparkles and smoke bombs! Woooooo.

  13. ouphie says:

    I love the video of a teenager who thought it would be an excellent idea to fire a bottle rocket out of his bum. Guess they didn’t think about the natural reaction to clench up when hot sparks strike your bare bottom lol.

    Happy 4th of July y’all.

  14. pyro789x says:

    I think this video was created with the intention of being misleading, and scaring people into thinking “Oh my god, that could have been me!” I really doubt that the dummies they used for this experiment have properties that cause their bodies to react in a similar enough way to our bodies to give us a realistic standard of what we could expect should that actually happen to us. Sure, everybody knows it’s not a good idea to go about blowing fireworks up in your face, but that doesn’t mean that they should resort to this sort of misleading advertising to make their point.

  15. BigPapaCherry says:

    Made the mistake last year of lighting a pack of firecrackers in my hand with the intent to throw them. The fuse burned me but none of them went off before I threw it away. Luckily, I only got a vicious burn on my index finger and a hard and fast lesson on firework safety.

    Just a warning to anyone who’s too lazy to reach down to light something on the ground.

  16. lockdog says:

    This site sells fairly inexpensive electric matches and remote ignition systems for fireworks. Not worth it for $50 worth of bottle rockets, but my parents and several neighbors would get together and by some serious shells and mortars for the Fourth which we would set off out on the beach. Probably a thousand dollars worth or so back then, and some of those guys would have loved one of these. For comparison, I think I mentioned in another post once being a tech for the Fireworks & Laser Show at SeaWorld. We would put off about $8k in a twelve minute show on most nights, but would burn $30k over about twenty on the Fourth. Everything was launched remotely on a floating stage about 2000 feet from the front stands. All of the elements; the various sized shells, lasers, music, and video (70mm film back then) on a water screen were all coordinated with SMPTE time code. One safety operator had a deadman switch that could automatically kill the show and bring up house lights, another safety spotter could kill just the lasers if a beam got misaligned (fried eyeballs) or a plane entered our (restricted) airspace. Thirdly, an anemometer could automatically kill the largest shells if the wind speed was too high or blowing towards the stands. Everything was electric, no stage hands with cigarettes. One of my favorite jobs was being the crazy person who sat the whole show on the giant floating pyro barge inside the little bomb shelter/ projection booth. The barge was permanently anchored and probably 100′ x 30′, but it would still rock and bounce several inches for the big shells. The booth had an escape hatch to the water and you wore a life jacket at all times and it was hell trying to take a cue and get that old rust bucket projector running properly when you couldn’t hear a thing from the blasts. After the show a boat full of pyro techs would come out, blanket the whole place with a fire extinguisher and disable any bad shells, then you could come out into the sulfurous air. A Most Excellent summer job!

  17. HeavyDiaper says:

    I think it’s more because of accidentally starting fires due to wind and lack of rain, rather than personal safety.

  18. temporaryerror says:

    It would be kinda hard to blow off your finger with the firecrackers that are generally available these days. I’ve had a basic 1.5″ blackcat go off in my hand before and it just stung and got kind of numb… no loss of fingers.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Yeah, I had the same thing happen in High School. Back then, we’d unwind the packs and set them off individually. They worst danger we really suffered was from the fire ants whose mounds we were blowing up.

  19. temporaryerror says:

    not that I recommend it

  20. cwsterling says:

    the thumbnail for the article looks like the man is carrying a baby

  21. br549xt93 says:

    What kind of idiot would put something on fire in there pants?!

  22. @temporaryerror: its true, i would untwist the bricks of black cats and let them off individually. they always went off before they hit the ground.

    short fuses.

  23. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Didn’t Jeff Foxworthy cover this in one of his many comedy specials?

    Also, the annual “don’t blow yourself up” PSA is nice and all, but maybe the CPSC could pay a bit more attention to the other 364 days a year. I’d hate to repeat last year’s lead-filled toy debacle.

  24. Benny Gesserit says:

    When I was about 5/6 years old, my father gave me a sparkler to hold – for a moment – while he was lighting something that would explode a small piece of Canada on her birthday.

    He turned his head for a second and, in that second, I decided the glowing part would be great to hold in my hand.

    Now, I honestly don’t think I got it into my little fist as it surely would have fused my fingers to the burning mass. Instead, I believe, my pain sensors went off before I actually made contact and my siren yell brought neighbors from both sides running.

    We didn’t have fireworks on Canada Day for a number of years after that little issue.

    Moral: Kids sometimes don’t think. (Tracking mud in the house, a problem. Things burning at 5 zillion degrees, more of a problem.)

    And before anyone goes off on Dad being a bad parent, this was 1965 when the cars didn’t have seat-belts, DDT made for a healthy lawn and if you we lucky, Dad and Mom would crack the car windows a bit so the cigarette smoke would get out of the car. It was a different time.

    Happy July 4th – now go out and have some BBQ!

  25. varro says:

    @ElizabethD: And that’s why you always leave a note!

  26. lonebannana says:

    Oh man. Reminds me of when I was 5 and my uncle allowed me to throw a “Mexican Firework” from my hand like everyone else was doing (lived in Laredo at the time); Blew my thumb wide open.

    Also reminds me of my mother, who must have had a Bottle Rocket Magnet in her head. The second time she was hit, she was sitting in the car because she was still spooked from the first time; I swear, like a guided missle, it did a 90 degree turn from the coke bottle, RIGHT to her head.

    Oh, and the numerous times that I was standing right next to the paper bag of bottle rockets when a stray shooter would “pop” right in. I would get into so much trouble for letting the WHOLE BAG of bottle rockets get wasted away while they shot at my face.

    Oh, and the “Homemade” firecrackers….

    Ah, the good ol’ days…

    this post gets one and a half thumbs up (That’s all I got)


  27. Scuba Steve says:

    Fireworks Are Fun Until They Blow Up In Your Pants

    That’s when they become awesome!

  28. When I was in college, somebody in my crowd thought up the idea of making our own fireworks. We created a foil ball that surrounded a core of safety match heads and a couple pennies. When dropped from the 3rd floor dorm balcony the homemade firework was quite impressive on impact.

    So we made another one. Bigger of course. Must have had 2-3 lbs of matchheads in that one. And we went to the top floor of the tallest building on campus.

    The ball bounced when it hit the ground. The flaming/exploding ball landed into the adjoining flower garden and proceeded to burn down most of the flower garden before the fire department could extinguish the blaze.

    Oh what fun I had when I was young and stupid.

  29. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    Since I’m currently living in mexico I used my demolitions training to build my own homemade fireworks, normally I also do it for my pals at work come september 16.
    God, never imagined I would be using military training for a amateur display, but that did allow for the permits to buy the restricted stuff.

    PS. These guys either have suicide instincts to keep them relatively safe, or they don’t know and would prefer not to know the risks they run sometimes. Either way, pure pyro fun.

  30. Cliff_Donner says:

    Yeah, a lot of things seem fun until they blow up in your pants.

    Only took me 10 or 20 times before I learned this lesson.

  31. timsgm1418 says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): ahh the 60’s chasing the mosquito truck because the ddt smelled good, playing with rubber cement because it smelled good, any child old enough to stand having a sparkler, getting your tongue stuck on popscicles that were kept cold in dry ice, even though your parents told you to wait a few minutes before eating it, and yes I did always wish my dad would crack his window to let the smoke out just a little. I’m 47, still pretty healthy, so far. I don’t recommend doing all of the above things, but man the chance to smell the smell of the mosquito truck again would definitely be worth it.

  32. timsgm1418 says:

    @lonebannana: your poor mom

  33. InThrees says:

    Now I’m reminded of one 4th when my buddy and I spent several hundred dollars on several large bags of fireworks, and invited over some caliente chicas to watch us set them off in his backyards.

    And I forget exactly what firework was the culprit… probably a roman candle that I [b]totally was not holding, no way[/b], but the ‘magazine’ holding our store of fireworks (read that: the pile we made on the patio) caught some friendly fire and… things got really interesting.

    One of the girls, after it was over, said something like “Smoooooth.” =p

  34. bobpence says:

    Oh noes! A fireworks destroyed the responsible-gun-use entry!

  35. ConRoo says:

    @timsgm1418 and @Jim (The Canuck One): Lest we forget, playing with mercury was so cool, and a ride in the back of a pickup truck was divine.

  36. ConRoo says:

    Once upon a time, we would set up large plastic army figures in the garden and bomb them with M80’s. Our cover was a picnic table turned on its side.

  37. timsgm1418 says:

    @ConRoo: absolutely, my brother & I used to melt thermometers to play with the mercury, pissed my mom off because she could never find a thermometer when she wanted one….

  38. timsgm1418 says:

    @ConRoo: I remember riding in the back of a pickup during rush hour on the Washington Beltway and the only thing that pissed me off was it was difficult to light a cigarette, nobody told us it was dangerous so we didn’t know

  39. lonebannana says:


    She learned her lesson; she would stay inside with a glass of wine every New Years and 4th of July from then on.

    I, however, didn’t learn my lesson at all…

    Some people just need a little more experience and blunt-force trauma to the head before they figure things out.

  40. AcidReign says:

        Generally, those black cats, bottle rockets, and zip-spinners aren’t going to blow digits or limbs off. An eye, well, that’s not as certain. But, the trend in fireworks shops is towards bigger and bigger.

        Standing over a mortar shell launcher when it goes off… I shudder to think. I’ve seen one of those big brick shooters turn over, too, and hose the audience with fiery poppers. I block everything bigger than a fountain in, with cinder blocks.

        We spent about $180 this 4th, and had a pretty good show. The TNT Delirium Fountain was my favorite. It must have burned for 5 minutes! Deafening screams, and constant sparks in about a 15 foot fan! The TNT 26 Magnum artillery shell pack did well, too, as did the Triple Whammy. First year we’ve bought TNT. Little TNT stuff like Killer Bees and Garden in Spring? Sucked. More like Killer Gnats. Garden in Spring were small fountains, unimpressive spark height, and they burned out in less than 10 seconds. Pitiful.

        I grew up in the 1960s, too, turning 48 last month. You guys forgot one 1960s treat: chewing on window sills. That lead paint was delicious! And how ’bout those metal TV sets? You know, you’d scuff across the carpet, touch the TV, and get the crap popped out of you?

  41. Oh man, I used to love chewing on lead paint. My mother would try to give me a sandwich, but I couldn’t hear her on account of the chewing and tumors.

  42. ironchef says:

    the part I hate about people who insist on setting off fireworks is the mounds of empty trash, bottle rockets, packaging , and debris they generate.

    Not to mention all that fire risk and darwin award inductees.

    Ban them all. It’s a stupid tradition.

  43. chuckv says:

    Blowing up fireworks on or around my body may cause harm? Thank you big brother! I had no idea!

  44. NoStyle says:

    Many things are fun until they blow up in your pants.

  45. Ein2015 says:

    I really wish they’d use something like pig skulls or other animal parts which mimic how much damage fireworks can cause to people a lot better than mannequins.

  46. rabiddachshund says:

    @Deadeyereborn: What victim? I saw mannequins.

  47. Triterion says:

    Those looked more like hand-grenade explosions than fireworks… I wanna know where they got THOSE firecrackers!