To understand how wild things are on the 4th of July it helps to get above the treeline. People all over the city shoot off an incredible amount of fireworks for many hours. It starts around dusk and continues until well after midnight. How many people are focused on the birth of our nation is uncertain. In all likelihood most are drinking and setting off fireworks with thought of little else. This video looking west from an Irving Park Road high rise illustrates. It was a windless night. All the noise you hear is from explosions. Double-click to watch in full screen for maximum effect:
Late last week ABC 7 reported a man blowing his hand off with fireworks in Portage Park. The same report said forty-five fireworks accidents were reported in 2014 and twenty-five in 2015. Practical Chicago went down to Montrose Harbor on the 4th to see how problems might happen. It did not take long to find an example. In just over five minutes two major fireworks malfunctions were witnessed. They occur just after 2:00 and 3:45 in this video:
In our opinion it is best to stay above the fray. Watching the official, or unofficial, show from a position of safety is the best option. With the huge volume of fireworks shot off on the 4th twenty-five or forty-five accidents per year is a very small failure rate. But even so: is it worth possibly blowing off your hand to have a little fun? Leave the risk to the experts and the reckless.
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