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Are glow sticks, Silly String and drones alternatives to fireworks?

Although fireworks are as popular as ever, some suggest items like Silly String and noisemakers make for better alternatives.
Are glow sticks, Silly String and drones alternatives to fireworks?
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jul 03, 2023

Fireworks have long been a source of joy for Americans, lighting up the night sky across hundreds of cities around the Fourth of July. 

They have also been a source of injuries and concern. 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, July Fourth firecrackers caused about 1,300 injuries in 2022. Sparklers also caused about 700 injuries last year. 

“Fireworks are beautiful to watch, but they can be deadly when mishandled or misused, or if the fireworks themselves contain illegal components,” says CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “I urge everyone to use care around fireworks, only use fireworks labeled for consumer use, and always keep children far away from fireworks, including sparklers. We want everyone to have a fun and safe celebration.”

In addition to injury concerns, fireworks are also a source of environmental dangers, including pollution and wildfires. Officials in New Mexico encouraged revelers to find alternative methods of celebrating in lieu of fireworks in hopes of preventing forest fires. 

It recommended people use items like glow sticks, noisemakers or Silly String instead of fireworks. Officials also said professional firework shows would be preferred over setting off consumer fireworks. 

"Leaving fireworks to the professionals reduces the risk of injury, unintentional wildfire starts, roof damage, and litter," New Mexico officials said in a press release.

SEE MORE: Tips to protect your pets during July Fourth fireworks, celebrations

But in some cities, even professional fireworks shows are going by the wayside. 

One prominent example of this is in Boulder, Colorado, where officials have replaced the city's traditional fireworks show with a drone demonstration. 

"Prior to COVID-19, Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast was an annual event dating back to 1941," the City of Boulder said on its Facebook page. "The shift from traditional fireworks to drones was not an easy decision and based on a number of factors, including increased fire danger fueled by climate change. While the show is going to be a bit different, it promises to be a fantastic show that aligns with our Sustainability, Equity and Resilience Framework."

Although some cities are moving away from traditional fireworks, spending on consumer fireworks is at a record level. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, consumers are expected to spend $2.4 billion in the U.S. for this July Fourth holiday, a $100 million increase from a year ago. 

@scrippsnews Instead of fireworks, what about drones and lasers? A growing number of municipalities and companies are looking into alternatives to fireworks for a number of reasons. #fireworks #FourthOfJuly #celebration ♬ original sound - Scripps News

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