Do Not Use These Recalled Fireworks Next Week

Each year, tens of thousands of people are injured in fireworks accidents. While these incidents can occur when someone is ill-trained in setting off the brightly colored explosives, they can also be the result of defective products, such as the 36,000 TNT Red, White, & Blue Smoke fireworks now under recall. 

American Promotional Events recalled 36,100 TNT Red, White, & Blue Smoke fireworks that can explode unexpectedly after being lit, posing burn and injury hazards to consumers.

According to a notice posted with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recalled fireworks have been linked to three people suffering burn injuries. No property damage has been reported.

The pyrotechnic devices, which make smoke when lit, were sold from May 2017 to June 2017 at Albertsons, Kroger, Meijer, Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers in Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The fireworks — which can be identified by the UPC number 027736036561 — came in a bag containing one red, one blue and one white canisters.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fireworks and contact America Promotional Events for a full refund at 800-243-1189 or via email at

The recall comes on the same day that the CPSC held its annual fireworks safety demonstration, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

The CPSC’s demonstration included setting off several fireworks explosions mirrored after scenarios that have killed or seriously injured Americans.

“Seemingly simple safety tips can really avoid injuries when using fireworks,” Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the CPSC, said during the demonstration.

Some of the steps to a safer celebration from the CPSC include:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them

According to the CPSC’s annual fireworks report released earlier this week, in 2016 four people died and more than 11,000 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.

On average, 230 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday, the CPSC notes.

Of these fireworks-related injuries, 69% involved burns. Additionally, 33% of all fireworks injuries occur on the hands, 28% to the heads, faces, and ears, and 18% on the legs.

As for the products associated with these injuries, the CPSC estimates that 900 emergency department-treated injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.

Another 1,300 were related to firecrackers. Of these, 47% were associated with small firecrackers, an estimated 4% with illegal firecrackers, and an estimated 49% with firecrackers for which there was no specific information.

Independence Day Education…The Science Of Fireworks

If you’re planning to watch fireworks on the 4th of July, why not brush up on a little science first?

Fireworks have gotten considerably more advanced since the discovery of gunpowder in China more than 1,000 years ago. In the short video below, John Conkling, a chemist at Washington College, explains how modern-day fireworks are made:

[youtube id=”nPHegSulI_M” width=”600″ height=”350″]

As Conkling explains, they work in three broad steps:

1) First, the entire aerial shell is shot out of a mortar by lighting the black powder propellant (a mix of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur — that is, gunpowder).

2) Once the shell is launched, the internal time fuse starts burning down as the firework reaches altitude. The fuse then sets off the bursting charge inside the shell — and the firework explodes.

3) The real fun starts when those effect pellets start to burn in the air, producing various colors and effects. These pellets are a combination of fuel and oxygen-rich elements. The colors that result depend on the type of elements used, while the type of fuel determines how hot and how long these pellets burn.

“We produce different colors by using the fact that different chemical elements heated to high temperatures get rid of their energy by emitting very specific wavelengths of light,” Conkling explains. Strontium chloride is often used to produce a red color. Sodium silicate is used to produce yellow. Titanium produces those silver sparks.

“Blue is the hardest color to produce with pyrotechnics,” Conkling adds. “You need the perfect chemistry.” Copper chloride will burn blue, but it will also decompose if it gets toohot, making it incredibly tricky to work with.

New FDA-Approved Drug Can Calm Anxious Dogs During Fourth Of July Fireworks

Dogs who love to stay outdoors likely wouldn’t fare well this firework-filled holiday weekend. Loud noises from fireworks, thunder and the elements can indeed make dogs anxious, extremely afraid and reeling from what’s called noise aversion.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, just recently approved the first and only drug made to help furry friends with this problem.

A low-dose version of canine sedatives, Sileo oromucosal gel hit the U.S. market last month after being approved in late 2015 for noise aversion treatment in dogs. This condition causes symptoms that range from panting and trembling to extreme panic to running away and injuring themselves as a result.

“It has rapid speed of onset, is easy to administer at home and works ‘in the moment,’ without any other treatments or training,” said Dr. Shelley L. Stanford, group director at Zoetis, the firm marketing the oromucosal gel product in the country.

Sileo is administered to dogs through placing the gel between the cheek and gum for oral transmucosal absorption. It usually takes effect within a half to a full hour after application – said to offer a calming effect without sedating.

Its manufacturer, Finnish company Orion, tested the medication on 144 dogs on New Year’s Eve and revealed that 75 percent of canines taking Sileo had less anxiety than expected during fireworks, compared to 33 percent of those on placebo. The results were based on dog owners who were asked to document their pets’ reactions.

“It’s not a tranquilizer, per say. It works on the nervous system to inhibit the release of adrenaline or nor-epinephrine,” explained veterinarian Dr. Gary Yarnell in a CBS News report, however cautioning that dogs suffering severe breathing, heart, kidney or liver issues should not be given the drug.

The first remedy, he added, is to comfort one’s pet first before turning to drugs. Those with serious noise aversion condition, for instance, should be accompanied at all times and never left at home alone.

Zoetis estimated that around one-third of dogs are affected by noise aversion, which could be incited by noise events such as July Fourth festivities. Fireworks in fact emerge as one of the leading triggers, with July Fifth as the busiest day for shelter intakes in the country.

Sileo is only one in a sea of pet remedies. Dog vest ThunderShirt promises to address anxiety through applying mild pressure. The previous week, a wearable device called the Calmz Anxiety Relief System was launched to provide “calming frequencies” for dogs to hear and feel.

Factors other than fireworks and other forms of noise can cause stress and anxiety in dogs. Yes, these include even mere hugging – a sign that the gesture meant to express affection could be differently interpreted by these creatures.