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Firework season starts with a bang

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SNAKES AND SPARKLERS:Independence Fireworks Owner Paul Forman shows one of the 35 different artillery shells he has in stock.
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FIREWORK FRENZY: Independence Fireworks in Peru offers several brands of dazzling explosives, including Black Cat.

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

Memorial day has come and gone which means firework season has officially arrived in Miami County.

According to Independence Fireworks Owner Paul Forman, Memorial Day through Independence Day is the store's busiest time as people stock up on supplies for the national celebratory holiday. The store has anywhere from artillery shells and multi-shoot boxes to quiet fountains and fire crackers for customers to choose from and Forman noted there are no longer any fireworks that are considered illegal in Indiana.

“In 2007, Indiana legislature passed a law that said you pay a five percent additional sales tax and that would allow you to put off anything that goes in the air,” Forman said.

Forman has been in the firework business since 1998 when he put on his first public firework display and has since collected several years of knowledge on fireworks and how to handle them.

He said the most common mistake people make is that they forget fireworks are explosives.

“They're fun, they're beautiful, but we really enforce safety,” Forman said. “We'll demonstrate how to put it in the tube and make sure they understand what they have.”

People also put things on non-level surfaces when every firework warning label calls for a sturdy, level surface and they like to hold the fireworks in their hands which is extremely dangerous, according to Forman.

“We as professionals don't hold them in our hands,” Forman said. “That's how you get all of the injuries year after year. They just disregard what they have.”

Fireworks should always be handled carefully and for individuals who plan to have a firework display this holiday should make sure to have water nearby.

Since there are so many fireworks that are made of and fire off in cardboard, sometimes they'll reignite after discharge, Forman said. It's also important to water down the fireworks after use before disposing of them.

“They can catch fire hours later,” Forman said.

City ordinances maintains that firework consumers can use their fireworks from June 29th through July ninth.

According to Forman, the Independence Firework team does 65 firework shows a year which includes Bunker Hill, Mississinewa, Peru, Roann, Mexico, and many more. The employees spend hours watching videos so they can answer any question customers might have on what a certain firework does.

“We're enthusiast. We're professionals,” Forman said. “We can bring value and a great product.”

The store also offers layaway for customers who want to put 20 percent down on products and pay when they can. Forman offers this as a way for customers to be able to afford fireworks and still have money for food and other Fourth of July supplies.

The store carries numerous brands including the popular Black Cat and Red Rhino, along with other brands which customers may have not seen before.

Forman said he strives to have a variety of products and brands in the store for customers so their show is unique. He also works with every customer's budget so they walk away with something that is going to wow their guests.

“We want you to have a great time,” Forman said. “We just want you to celebrate safely.”

Independence Fireworks is located at 23 Broadway Plaza and is open Monday through Friday from 12 to 10 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.