BSO demonstrates dangers of fireworks

People urged to watch professional shows

DAVIE, Fla. - As the Fourth of July nears, Broward County officials warned people Tuesday about the dangers of fireworks.

Broward's bomb squad put on a fireworks show in the name of safety. But, this one happened in broad daylight and was meant to show people what not to do with fireworks.

Officials showed how fireworks can pulverize a large watermelon, and put an illegal firework into the hands of a mannequin to show the damage they can do. The watermelon ended up in pieces, and the mannequin was singed, its hands blown off.

They emphasized that there are very few legal fireworks.

"In Broward County, what you buy at the tents or Publix typically is going to be a legal sparkler. It will actually say on it, 'Emits showers of sparks,'" said Joseph Schwartz, of the Division of the State Fire Marshal.  "Anything else -- if it explodes, if it has a report, if it shoots flaming balls, some of them are going to say -- those are not going to be legal."

In 2009, police said, a man in Cooper City set off an illegal mortar and was killed.

The safest choice for patriotic fun this July 4 is to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals. Click here for information on some South Florida fireworks shows.

And while your family is having fun watching the professional fireworks shows, your pets may be terrified by the noise. Click here for information on how to make sure your furry family members feel safe.

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