It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s American. Scott G looks at one way to get some juicy news coverage for your product, even if that product is illegal in many parts of the country.

Firecracker 4thEvery year at this time, the companies who manufacture fireworks obtain massive amounts of free publicity on local television stations in every market in the country.

How? Somehow, samples of fireworks end up in the hands of law enforcement agencies who display the items to news teams along with a list of dangerous things NOT to do with the explosive devices.

Oh sure, the presentation is phrased a little better than what I just wrote. “Here are some safety tips for your viewers,” is one way they put it.

“How to have a safe and sane 4th of July celebration,” is another favorite lead-in line.

Or consider this one: “Youngsters cautioned to avoid the Top Ten Fireworks Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make. Film at eleven.”

But the end result is the same. The news shows dutifully zoom in for close-ups of the fireworks in all their glory while showing “what not to do” to detonate them in a dangerous (read: fun) manner. And then (surprise, surprise) they show fireworks exploding colorfully across the screen.

Fireworks blowing fingers off manikins. Fireworks blowing hands off manikins. Fireworks blowing heads off manikins. Sometimes in slow motion.

Firecrackers. M-80s. Cherry Bombs. Pinwheels. Roman Candles. Bottle Rockets. Sky Rockets. Reloadable Mortar Kits.

“Cool!” say kids of all ages.

“Wow!” say normally law-abiding citizens.

“Where can I go to obtain some possibly illegal fireworks which I will set off in a thoroughly responsible way?” say viewers.

Result: all emergency room vacations are cancelled from June 28 through July 5.

Fun fact: In researching this article (meaning I was surfing around the Internet), I came across this wonderful statement from the Department of Transportation’s Explosive Classification system, section 173.50(a). “Explosive. For the purpose of this subchapter, an explosive means any substance or article, including a device, which is designed to function by explosion.”

Boom, we’re out of here.

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