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Posted on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

4th of July fireworks: Take this quiz to see how safely you're celebrating

By Kyle Feldscher

It’s the season for lighting up explosives and watching the burning embers create awesome designs in the sky in the good ol’ United States of America.


Make sure to celebrate safely this upcoming holiday weekend.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

That’s right, the Fourth of July is upon us. While it’s an American tradition to light up fireworks while basking in the glory of our lovely nation, it’s also important to avoid an unfortunate consequence of this tradition — injuries and noise complaints.

Police and medical officials here in Washtenaw County reported few noise complaints so far this week and no injuries up to Tuesday night. Laura Blodgett, spokeswoman at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, said the hospital is at the ready for patients who’ve suffered firework-related injuries, but haven’t had anyone rushed to the emergency room for them just yet.

Before going out to the deck and lighting off a few bottle rockets to celebrate America, take the fireworks quiz and see just how ready you are to safely celebrate.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

For reference, of 520 participants only one person got all the questions correct. Over half answered #1, 9, 10, 11, and 12 incorrectly. Surprisingly #3, 6, 8, and 13 were the only ones that most people answered correctly.


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

My neighborhood park (a public Ann Arbor park) has a spontaneous 4th-of-July gathering of 200-300 people with all sorts of illegal fireworks and a LOT of alcohol. In the 18 years we have lived here, I have never once seen the police even drive by. So even though there are rules, they don't seem to be enforced at all.

Ann English

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Does brown paper make extremely flammable packaging material?


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

Man thats a bummer. No professional grade fireworks. O well, guess mine will do for now.

Ann English

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Makes sense, Kyle, for professional grade fireworks to be in a plainly brown paper package; one can tell it's professional grade that way, even without reading glasses. When I attended a Buhr Park July 4 fireworks show, I recall even the professionals running it, running away from pyrotechnics they had just lit, so that they wouldn't get burned. Nobody got hurt during the whole show.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

Ann- Brownnpaper often indicates fireworks are professional grade, such as the ones used in large displays. Can end up very bad for the inexperienced.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Explanations for the answers would be good...


Sun, Jul 7, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Any and all of them. I got a few wrong but was unsure why. It's better to teach.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Any specific one you have a question on? The main one I would give some addition info on is in the situation of a 'dud'. The process for that is: 1. Stay a safe distance from the firework for at least 20 minutes 2. Soak in bucket of water It is also recommended to soak spent fireworks in water as well before disposing of them in the trash.

Dog Guy

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.



Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Speaking of all of these fireworks articles... did I miss the one of where one might go to see any? Seems that would be the safest option if not the most impressive, letting the professionals do it..

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Yep, we have one last week and it's been at the top of the entertainment page for the past few days. Tonight is actually your last chance to catch a show nearby when the skies will light up over Manchester.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

I still have fond memories of fireworks at Buhr Park where you were so close sometimes ash would drop by your blanket. Then they moved them to the airport which worked our pretty well but it wasn't as nice as Buhr IMHO. I wish Ann Arbor would celebrate this great country's birthday!


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

I also remember that the fireworks were pretty close to the people at Buhr. We'd scour the park in the days after and find small chunks of unburned gunpowder-like stuff that we'd light on fire to watch it go *poof*.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Wait, I got that Cherry Bombs were illegal... O.o And..I guess I consider the Hudson Mills fireworks to be Ann Arbors fireworks...I guess that must be considered Dexter..

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

Correct, they were banned in the mid '60s when the "Child Protection Act" was passed. There are similarly named/designed products on the market but they have nowhere near the same product that is now considered as an illegal explosive device.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Obviously, the last question is a bit of a freebie, does anyone remember attending the Ann Arbor fireworks back in the day?


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

Minty marshmallows? Hmmm.......needs some investigation work with dark chocolate. Will keep you posted.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

I saw a Girl Scout thin mint variety at this store this week jns, those were difficult to pass on.


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Last time I remember was at the A2 airport.


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 2:02 a.m.

I know, I want a burnt marshmallow. Wal Mart sells the strawberry kind. Yum!!! O darn now I am hungry again....

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Many would agree with you mady!


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

incidentally, I LIKE burned marshmallows. crusty on the outside, creamy on the inside. Yummmmmm.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

Kyle, I remember going to the fireworks display @ Buhr Park. Now you can't find 'em anywhere in A2!! What's up with that?!?!


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

Anybody know where I can get some 199dB fireworks?


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

Fireworks! BOO!!

Milton Shift

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Fireworks louder than 200db are illegal? You mean we still can't buy dynamite? Bummer. GOP legislators in Lansing - get with the program and pass a real fireworks bill.


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

Darn! I guess I need to call ACME to return mine unless the coyote wants it. Need to call him.


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

My quiz: did you have fun? Yes? You were probably doing something dangerous.