Viral Video Provides Cautionary Tale: Fireworks and Floating Docks Don’t Mix

fireworksWhat was supposed to be a grand fireworks display turned into a dangerous fire that destroyed a private floating dock on a lake.

The video, which was posted to YouTube, shows a man walking to the end of a floating dock, which is a personal watercraft platform buoyed by foam floats. The man lights the fireworks as spectators cheer off-screen.

But unfortunately, something went wrong: the fireworks were facing down, rather than up, and took apart the end of the dock in a matter of seconds.

The off-screen group shouted “Oh, my God!” and “Wrong way!” but made no attempt to

There is no date or location revealed for the video, which was uploaded on July 15, but it likely took place on Independence Day (July 4) in the United States, if going by the accents heard in the video’s audio.

Onscreen, the man who lit the fireworks stands on the dock watching helplessly as the end of the floating dock goes up in flames. In addition to standing on the dock, it’s also worth noting that the man set off the fireworks while the sun was still out, which would mean a decrease in visibility for a festive light display.

It is unknown whether alcohol was involved in the incident.

At the end of the video, he and one of the other spectators go to inspect the damage: the dock’s timber is completely ripped to shreds.

If anything, the video illustrates the importance of the proper safety procedures necessary when working with fireworks — and on docks.

“It’s important to always be safe when dealing with fireworks,” says the President of Dock Boxes Unlimited. “It’s easy to overlook potential fire hazards due to the proximity of water in this instance, but it serves to show that you can never be too safe.”

When it comes to the use of fireworks, “Hopefully the young man has learned his lesson for next year,” wrote a Daily Mail reporter.

And rightfully so: the National Fire Protection Association in the United States reports that each Fourth of July, there are thousands of accidents, injuries, and deaths that occur due to improper use of fireworks.

Each year on Independence Day, there are far more U.S. fires reported than on any other day of the year, and every two out of five of those fires is the result of fireworks.

And in 2011 alone, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, 1,200 of which were structure fires, 400 were vehicle fires and the remaining 16,300 were outside or in other locations. Those fires results in at least eight deaths, 40 injuries and an estimated $32 million in property damage.

In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries, 55 percent of which were to the extremities and 31 percent were to the head.

While the man in the video may have lost a part of his floating dock, some would say he’s lucky that it wasn’t far worse.

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