As long as you’re over 18 and follow a few common-sense rules — such as don’t set off fireworks in cars — you can legally light consumer fireworks into the Pennsylvania sky to celebrate this year’s Fourth of July.
But Pittsburgh Public Safety and UPMC Mercy Burn Center aren’t thrilled. So much so, that they held a media event Wednesday urging people to “leave it to the professionals.”
To prove their point, they blew up fruit with illegal, homemade explosives confiscated by the Pittsburgh police bomb squad.
They had no idea how it was going to go, Bomb Technician Adam Turk said, because, “There is no quality control in people’s basements.”
The bomb squad regularly confiscates homemade explosives, he said, adding “we get more than I can count.” He stressed that the homemade kind are “basically mini pipe bombs,” while store-bought fireworks are regulated.
Lesson: Don’t buy explosives from someone who made them at home.
Officer TurkRenee Rosensteel / For The Incline
First up: Two apples taped together. At first it was nothing but smoke, eliciting an “awe” from the crowd. Then a flash and an explosion.
Lesson: Light-to-explosion time is anyone’s guess.
applesRenee Rosensteel / For The Incline
A few sparks, but mostly waiting.
This melon never exploded and the illegal firework had to be diffused.
Lesson: Don’t mess with duds.
This was the biggest blast, with chunks of fruit flying through the air.
Lesson: “There’s nothing left of that watermelon. It’s mostly water, and so are we,” Turk said.