Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fireworks safety demonstration using fruit fizzles

No fruits or vegetables were harmed at a fireworks safety press conference Wednesday. The reporters were a little spooked, though.

The assembled public safety officials had intended to use a watermelon and a squash to demonstrate the kind of damage fireworks can do to a person’s body.

They also used the occasion to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the city of Houston, and the sale and use of aerial fireworks are banned in Harris County because of the dry weather over the last month.

“Our top priority is everybody’s safety,” Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery said. “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July. Please be considerate — enjoy the holiday, enjoy yourself, enjoy our freedoms, but please be safe while you do it.”

Then it was time to blow up fruits and veggies. Or at least try.

The watermelon coughed up some sparks, then expelled a small puff of smoke. A second attempt, this time with an M60 (think really loud firecracker) was similarly unsuccessful: The M60 shot out of the melon and landed harmlessly in the parking lot 15 feet away. A similar assault on a squash met with similar results.

A demonstration involving black cats was only slight more successful, but a string of firecrackers went off too early, sending pieces flying into the crowd of surprised reporters.

http:// /disp /story.mpl/breaking/6507462.html


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