Firing Off Fireworks Goes High Tech (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A popular way to celebrate America's independence has now gone high tech. The annual 4th of July fireworks display at IPFW is fully electronic.

Matt Loraine is in charge of the show every year. He says they no longer individually set off fireworks by hand. He says instead each firework has an electronic firing device, and they are each set off electronically from a nearby panel. Loraine says doing things this way is much safer.

"It makes me sleep a lot better at night knowing that I won't have anybody in the proximity of these shells when they start going up at night," said Matt Loraine, Event Producer, Melrose Pyrotechnics.

For the past two years Loraine's fireworks display at IPFW has been fully electronic. Before that the procedure for those actually lighting the fireworks was very different.

"He would be touching with a road flare the ends of the fuses, and then he'd have a guy behind him brushing the fire off him, he'd be in a fire retardant suit, with hard hat and full safety gear on," said Loraine.

Today the safety gear stays but the danger level is much lower.

"We'll all be 100 feet away, still be barricaded, still have hard hats on, safety glasses, hearing protection, and we'll be able to just look back and watch the show, as the master firing guy fires the switches," said Loraine.

He says this also makes the show more enjoyable for those watching.

"When we used to hand fire, if you had some situation where maybe the road flare went out or something like that you could have up to a 5-10 second delay waiting for something else to go skyward. That won't be an issue now. As soon as it is breaking there will be something else or multiple something elses flying skyward. You'll never have to take your eyes down, just lay back relax, and enjoy," said Loraine.

For a full list of the fireworks displays in Northeast Indiana click here.

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