Sparkler warning ahead of the Fourth of July

Sparkler warning ahead of the Fourth of July

FOX19 - You've seen the stories about safe practices with fireworks that tell you to maintain a safe distance and don't look down on a lit firework. Those rules are obvious but even a sparkler can become dangerous enough to blow up a small building if it's misused.

The six second light show in the video above is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable things anyone can do with sparklers. It's called a sparkler bomb. The sparkler bomb pictured was made of 2,000 sparklers and there is no way of knowing which way the fire will spew.

"It's a bomb, it blows up," said Green Township Fire Captain Rick Bell. "If you see the videos it's pretty compelling on what can happen to you if you're caught up in that and it blows up when you're anywhere near it."

Sparklers are legal in Ohio and it doesn't take a sparkler bomb to end up in the hospital. Even holding multiple sparklers together in your hand can be dangerous.

FOX19 NOW used a non-contact thermometer to measure the heat from just one sparkler. The sparkler burnt much hotter than 500 degrees. As a point of reference, 160 degree water will burn your skin on contact. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission says that sparklers burn at about 2-thousand degrees.

We took our test one small step further, with a pail of water standing by. If you put 5 sparklers together, the temperature around the sparklers (where your hand would be) gets hotter than 220 degrees.

"Sparklers are not intended to be put together," said Captain Bell. "They're novelty items that a kid holds or whatever and walks around with it."

Debbie Harrell from the Shriners hospital said that in her 31 years in the industry she continues to see the same burn injuries from sparklers. She tells us supervision is the key to safety.

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