Big fireworks mean big business in Louisville


by Kelsey Starks

Posted on July 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 4 at 12:42 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Fireworks aren’t the only things booming this Fourth of July holiday; business is for some local fireworks stands.  This year, the fireworks sold in Kentucky got an upgrade.

“We have the largest consumer-available fireworks we sell here,” says Tim Burns with Phantom Fireworks.

That means all Class C fireworks are now sold in most of Kentucky.  That includes firecrackers, roman candles, repeater cakes and artillery shells.

“These are artillery shells.”  Jake Ramsey is buying fireworks with his cousin on Westport Road.  He says they used to travel to Indiana to buy these kinds of fireworks.  “Let’s hope they are loud and have a lot of color!”

“Every year we went to Georgia then stopped in Tennessee,” says Jackson Ramsey.  “Then we found out we can buy them here so we were excited and we came here.”

In May, Metro Council passed an ordinance to allow most places in Louisville to allow the sales of these types of fireworks.  Communities like Jeffersontown, Shively and PRP have voted against allowing the sales.  But for the places that do allow the new sales, business is booming too.

“Since the law changed in May, business has been good,” says Burns.  “Most people don’t know they can buy everything here but when they find out they are excited.  We can sell everything they sell in Indiana."

But of course, there is a safety issue with larger fireworks.  Even something as simple as a sparkler may seem harmless, but can be dangerous.

“There’s no such thing as a harmless fireworks, says Sgt. Sal Melendez with the Louisville Fire Department.  “Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees.  You bake a cake at 350.  We’re talking material-welding type of heat.”

Here are some safety tips if you are planning to use fireworks today --
= carefully read safety labels and instructions
= don't handle fireworks if they didn't go off after lighting.
= be in a well lit area away from structures or other people.
= do not drink alcohol and handle fireworks.
= don't wear loose clothing or open shoes.
= use a water bucket to put out fireworks.
= do not use fireworks on dry grass.