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Starting the New Year with a Bang

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I don’t know about you, but New Year’s Eve always makes me think of fireworks.  Growing up, they were everywhere at this time of year, especially since I lived in a state (South Carolina) that people would travel to in order to buy them.

Fireworks outlet in Alabama. Not dissimilar to those in South Carolina. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith.

If you’re curious as to what you can buy where you live, there is an easy-to-read map of the fireworks laws of every state online.  The specific state laws can be found using a directory from the American Pyrotechnics Association.

Along with state laws, fireworks are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF has an informative sheet on the explosives industry (the mining industry uses 87% of all explosives!) as well as guidelines for fireworks safety and security.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has a helpful guide to using fireworks safely.

The United States is not the only country that celebrates the New Year with fireworks, although various U.S. cities rank high in this Top Ten List of New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.  The Guinness World Record for the largest firework display went to Madeira, Portugal in 2006, though the United Arab Emirates has attempted to beat them.  However you celebrate, we wish you a safe and happy New Year!

Pssst...this is from July 4th. Don't tell anyone. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith.

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