About 25,000 overloaded fireworks were recalled from the Grandma’s Fireworks store in Indiana, along with thousands at other retailers.

By Anna Halkidis
June 28, 2019
Crazy King Crackers

The sky lights up all across the country on the Fourth of July, but a new recall on fireworks is bringing attention to the danger of handling these explosive devices on your own—especially with kids around.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a major recall this week for Grandma’s Fireworks in West College Corner, Indiana. It included about 25,000 units “overloaded with pyrotechnics intended to produce an audible effect.” Against the federal regulatory standard, overloaded fireworks can create a “greater than expected explosion, posing explosion and burn hazards to consumers."

The fireworks, sold from January 2009 through April 2019, injured two boys in Ohio in March. Caleb Bogan and Brendon Jones found a broken end of a Talon rocket (one of the recalled models) and lit it. Jones had minor injuries, but Bogan lost his hand.

“I’m glad the fireworks got recalled because I wouldn't want anybody to go through this, because it is not something that you would want to go through," Bogan told WLWT in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On the same day, CPSC announced several more recalls from other places around the country: Patriot Pyrotechnics in Sheridan, Michigan is recalling about 11,000 fireworks; Keystone Fireworks with several locations in Pennsylvania is recalling about 1,660 units; and GS Fireworks in Wyoming, Michigan is recalling about 260 units. These fireworks were also overloaded with pyrotechnics, but no injuries or incidents were reported.

“CPSC works year-round to help prevent deaths and injuries from fireworks, by verifying fireworks meet safety regulations in our ports, marketplace and on the road,” Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC acting chairman, said in a statement.

There were about 9,100 fireworks-related injuries treated in emergency departments in 2018, according to a news release. And 62 percent of them occurred near the Fourth of July from June 22 to July 22. Firecrackers accounted for the majority of injuries, while sparklers, which burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, were the biggest concern for children under 5 years old.

The CPSC also documented at least five fireworks-related deaths last year with victims between the ages of 16 and 49. “In one of the reported cases, an 18-year-old launched a mortar shell from a tube on the top of his head. The ignited shell did not launch and exploded,” the CPSC said. “The victim died in the hospital the next day.”

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