ANDERSON — Familiar sites pop up in late June and then disappear days after Independence Day — fireworks shops.
Some open a little earlier so they can get a jump on sales to folks who love making things explode. Others don’t show up until the week of the Fourth of July. Even more are permanent operations; their “seasons” simply change as the year goes on.
For Shamus Clark, who works at a pop-up fireworks shop off 18th Street and Scatterfield Road, his last day will be Sunday. That’s when he was told by Muncie-based North Central Industries (NCI) that he would be done selling fireworks.
NCI also has the Boomer’s Fireworks and Great Grizzly stores .
Once Friday, July 5 arrived, Clark and many other firework pop-up shops went into sell-off mode.
“What will happen is all the price tags that are sales will go away,” Clark said. “And on the fifth, sixth and seventh, they’ll run some kind of a special and they’ll do that to get rid of the product instead of trucking it back to the warehouse in Muncie.”
Most of the fireworks that aren’t sold will be stocked on the shelves of the Boomer’s Fireworks location in Muncie.
One of Clark’s friends works for NCI full-time and suggested selling fireworks as a way to make a little extra money during the holiday season.
NCI provides fireworks to anyone who purchases a minimum of $3,000 worth of fireworks and has a permit to sell them through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Permits filed online are only good for one calendar year.
More information for fireworks permits can be found online at www.in.gov.
Clark, who is disabled, will go back to his day-to-day job once he closes up shop. However, he’s enjoyed his first year selling fireworks.
Diane Kilbourne, who manages Lit Fireworks at 53rd Street and Scatterfield Road, wasn’t able to comment on when the shop’s final day was going to be or if they were going to have a sale.
Kilbourne and her crew are in their third year selling fireworks, the second at their current location, and she mentioned how much fun she has seeing folks walk into her store and seeing their faces light up.
“It turns a man into a kid again when they see some fireworks,” she said.
Fireworks have a fairly long shelf life if they’re kept dry as the biggest threat to the gunpowder inside a firework is moisture.
One of Kilbourne’s employees, who would only give his first name as Mark, pointed out that undetonated bombs and mines from past wars are dug up all the time. He insisted all of the fireworks they sell do not have an expiration date despite some of them having a best buy date.
Still, even though gunpowder doesn’t have an expiration date, it’s not recommended to light up a found firework unless it is known that it was stored properly.
Even if fireworks are stored properly in dry places, severe changes in temperature can affect the stability of the gunpowder inside.
Kilbourne and her employees mentioned the fireworks that aren’t sold before the store closes at the end of the week are either shipped back to their shop’s parent company or are trashed if they’re not viable.
Unused, misfired or “dud” fireworks are not to be thrown into the trash without taking a few steps beforehand.
It’s suggested to completely submerge fireworks in a large bucket of water and soaking them until they are thoroughly saturated. Depending on the size of the firework, this could take 15 minutes or overnight.
Then, to prevent the fireworks from drying out, wrap them in plastic wrap or two plastic bags. Place the double-bagged fireworks in the trash or take them to a solid waste facility. Other disposal options can be found by contacting local fire departments or solid waste facilities.
Any fireworks that are planned to be stored should be stored in a cool, dry place. Storing them on top of an electrical appliance is not recommended since the appliance could become damaged through severe weather such as lightning or power surges, resulting in the ignition of the fireworks.
Follow Dylan Trimpe @Trimp3 on Twitter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 765-640-4840.
Tips for using legal fireworks
• Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
• Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
• Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.
• Never light them indoors.
• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
• Never ignite devices in a container.
• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
• Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
• Never use illegal fireworks.