Setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July is almost a duty or an obligation, part of being American. And fireworks are enjoyable to watch. But they can be dangerous, as we see every year as the July 5th news is full of stories of people accidentally igniting all the fireworks at once, or blowing their fingers off, or worse. If you’re going to shoot off fireworks, learn something about them first. Know your state regulations, plan the time and place, and have some safety factors ready.
If this is your first foray into this realm, the easiest (and probably least threatening) entry point are the ground displays. These are the kinds of mini-fire shows that stay on the ground after you light them, emitting sparks and big fountains of colorful light and gunpowder. Once again, the idea here is to light the thing and run away, unless you have a thing for getting sparked in the face. (This may seem obvious to you as you read this, but it will likely be less obvious in the moment, when you are far more likely to be drunk, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to repeat it now.)