Don’t Do This at Home: A Stunning Recap of Viral July 4 Fireworks Mishaps

From the dumb to the deadly, Independence Day meant freedom and emergency medical care for Americans in California and across the nation

Every year for the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate this country’s independence in the best way we know how: shooting off fiery explosives. This year, as every year, however, some at-home fireworks exhibitions turned dangerous and even deadly. 

In 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded 11,500 injuries involving fireworks from Fourth of July celebrations that required emergency room treatment, with some being fatal. This year, in Montebello, California, a 42-year old man died at a hospital on Monday after a high-powered firework exploded in his hand. The man had been attempting to ignite a “high powered, mortar type, aerial firework,” which is illegal in Los Angeles County, at his home and man suffered severe trauma to his torso when it went off, according to the Associated Press

Though injuries in these cases are unclear, firework fails from across the country went viral on social media.

With almost 25 million views on Twitter, this family’s SimpliSafe home security camera recorded the moment their at-home ballistics display went awry. 


The comment section exploded with people sharing their disbelief and admitting to watching multiple times. As many responded with their own firework mishaps, multiple users linked a video to the scene in San Diego ten years ago when 7,000 fireworks went off at once. 

Other towns searched for alternatives to the traditional explosives this year. In Southern California, after multiple shows had to be canceled due to a state investigation into the company running them, La Puente set up a laser show, and Lake View Terrace opted for drones

In downtown Minneapolis, meanwhile, the trend for 2022 was apparently people driving down the streets shooting fireworks at buildings and other people from their cars. 

At his Los Angeles home, rapper Chief Keef set off fireworks that ended up shooting sparks right at surrounding cars and people watching from his driveway. 

While firework displays are a persistent staple of American culture, resulting catastrophes reignite the debate over the practice. From the negative impact on animals and wildlife to air quality to veterans with PTSD, at-home accidents add more fuel to the fire for those against the tradition.

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