State Police and local authorities are starting to issue the warnings about the dangers of illegal fireworks; and the penalties for firing off your own.
Still doesn’t deter a good many of us from getting our own and having some friends over for our own little display.

Where I’m from, there was no such thing as a little display.

And you can’t imagine the money these kids would spend.

Not to mention the money kids selling them would make. ( I have it on good authority things were pretty good pre-Giuliani! )

So with all that in mind, members of the Bergen County Police Department blew up a watermelon to demonstrate the dangers of not leaving it up to the professionals.

Members of the Bergen County Police Department's bomb squad unit exploded the fruit at the public safety complex Tuesday to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

"We use watermelon because it's very similar to what human flesh is," Det. John Mongelli said as he surveyed the wreckage of a controlled blast designed to mimic the impact of some commonly-used fireworks.


The watermelon was pronounced dead at the scene.

As the nation approaches its most explosion-laden of holidays, the BCPD detonated the watermelon to highlight their plea that New Jerseyans leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.

Consumer fireworks are illegal here, and although you can always cross state lines to pick up a few M-2000s or Presidential Salutes, offenders can face criminal charges, a fine of $500 dollars and a jail sentence of up to 30 days.
That goes for the small stuff, too, which can also be dangerous.

"Believe it not, the firework that is the most dangerous, statistically, is the sparkler," Sgt. John LaDuca said. "They burn at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and it is something to be worried about, especially when we see small children handling those devices."

And even if they never see a match on July 4, fireworks that are confiscated or surrendered to authorities still present a hazard until they're disposed of entirely: Officials said the number one cause of death and injury among bomb technicians is the disposal of fireworks.

LaDuca advised leaving the displays to the licensed pyrotechnicians who use commercial-grade fireworks regulated by the ATF.

"Everything is done safely," he said. "Unlike a couple of adolescents and young adults in the backyard enjoying a couple beers and playing around with consumer fireworks."

How many times have you heard of a finger being blown to bits, even hand or eyes missing because of a mishap.

It was never my thing to shoot them off; just to watch.

So will you be making the trip down South or across the border sneaky like to buy some of your own, or choose to watch one of the loads of legal displays around the state?