15 Seconds of Fame

Big Bay Boom's July 4th fireworks show detonated in San Diego, CA. Photo: Ben Baller/Instagram

Spectators waiting to experience a jaw-dropping July 4th fireworks show that was to last approximately
20 minutes instead dropped their jaws as they witnessed a 15-second explosion in San Diego, California.

Garden State Fireworks offered a makeup show at no cost. The New Jersey-based company contracted for the Big Bay Boom blamed the unplanned blast on a technical glitch.

A glitch? Really? This explosion can be explained away that easily and glibly? No, Garden State Fireworks, it wasn’t a glitch. It was a massive, intense explosion, and you should thank your lucky stars no one was severely injured.

In the consumer world, 98 percent of fireworks purchased in the United States are manufactured in China; three-fourths of which are manufactured in Hunan Province. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is diligent in making sure those fireworks meet all US regulations.

Although diligent, when everyday people opt to create their own shows problems surface. According to the CPSC, 40 percent of all Injuries happen to children. Those aged 5 to 9 had the highest injury rate, then ages 10 to 14, followed by ages 15 to 19.

Unfortunately, while July 4th is a great celebration when we view spectacular fireworks that light up the nighttime sky, in 2010 an estimated 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, and 1,200 hospital visits were the result of Sparklers. But, boy do I like Sparklers.

Whether consumer or professional, injuries and accidents will happen. The Big Bay Boom was executed by skilled pyrotechnicians and the fireworks were manufactured according to US standards. This July 4th explosion only underscores the inherent dangers which exist when ‘glitches’ meet gunpowder.