ATLANTA — This Fourth of July weekend is expected to be unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most big firework displays are off the table, which is forcing families to celebrate the holiday in a different way.
"We are seeing more families than ever before go frequent the consumer fireworks stores to stock up for their celebration in their backyard," says Julie Heckman, executive director at the American Pyrotechnics Association.
Heckman said they are already seeing an unexpected increase in consumer sales because many community shows are canceled due to coronavirus.
"I think we are going to see a number that no one ever anticipated," she added.
As more spectators turn from simply viewing to using these fireworks for their own entertainment and that of their families, it's important to follow proper instructions and stay safe.
"You got to be so careful. This is one of those you got to put your glasses on and read the directions on the package about what's going to happen when you light it up," says Sherry Nicholson with American Red Cross.
Also, those sparklers can remain hot even after they have extinguished, so keep a bucket of water nearby to soak them in afterward.
"Kids run around barefoot in the backyard, so you want to prevent any injury that you can," says Heckman.
When it comes to firework sales, Heckman said one industry is at an all-time low.
"The display industry that puts on those great community shows, they make all of their revenue, 80 percent of their revenue is derived on July 4 alone, and they don't get a do-over," she said.
"They are really, really hurting, and they are struggling for survival," Heckman added.