exploding watermelons

If you’re hoping to take in a fireworks display this July 4, please, please remember to seek out a professionally sponsored show that is taking the proper safety precautions. That was the spirit of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Tweet, but the pre-holiday public service announcement seems to have gotten lost when Garcetti’s team embedded an absolutely sick video of watermelon being vaporized with a firework.

“Even small ones can cause a lot of damage,” the Tweet, whose embedded video showcases the explosive awesomeness of impromptu fireworks displays in all their dangerous glory, reads. “This watermelon was completely destroyed by a firework the size of a stick of gum.”

As might be expected, snarky Tweeters instantly replied with follow-up questions about exactly what kind of gum stick sized fireworks Garcetti’s team used in the video and where they could get some. Many suggested ideas for a follow-up video: Can we reiterate the dangers of fireworks by blowing up a mailbox or a bucket of water next?

How to Stay Safe During July 4 Fireworks

The rules for fireworks vary greatly from state to state, and some of the observers who found humor in Garcetti’s statement may have been from more permissive states. Americans spend some $800 million on fireworks each year, according to data from WalletHub, though to be sure, much of that goes toward municipal celebrations which run up to $30,000 a pop in even smaller towns.

At the risk of being a downer, fireworks restrictions make a lot of sense, even as you move outside of big (and parched) cities like Los Angeles. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause about 18,500 fires per year, leading to an estimated $43 million in direct property damage. Emergency rooms treated nearly 13,000 fireworks-related injuries in 2017 alone.

Which is all to say that we’d all do well to listen to the good mayor’s advice and only view controlled fruit explosions in the presence of trained professionals, or simply pack the kids in the minivan and make for the nearest professional show.