On July 5 2022, footage often described as the “Simplisafe fireworks video” was shared on several platforms, including Reddit’s r/AbruptChaos (titled “Best finale ever”):
— Cody (@new_orleansjazz) July 6, 2022
All three clips were roughly 32 seconds long, and all depicted the same chain of events; the clip was not entirely unlike the 2012 San Diego fireworks incident. The video began with what appeared to be a doorbell security video (“Simplisafe”) recording of a relatively tame Fourth of July gathering.
Several adults were visible relaxing in lawn chairs, alongside several children (at least one of whom was quite young). On a sidewalk at the front of the lawn, two adults (or young adults) arranged what appeared to be fireworks, and other attendees sat near the rear of a minivan.
Because the video either was (or was styled to look like) surveillance video from a Simplisafe surveillance camera, the resolution was not very high; that made the setting and events of the video difficult to make out before any chaotic elements were introduced. It appeared that no fewer than fourteen people were in the shot, including a small child in a bouncer or walker.
By the eight-second mark, the sidewalk firework had been lit, and people started backing up away from it. Almost immediately, large lit trails zoomed toward the house and people — not away from it.
Between the ninth and tenth seconds, a woman grabbed the baby from the seat and darted away. Another small child near the rear of the vehicle screamed, and an adult asked “who did that?”
At that point, what appeared to be uncontrolled fire was visible directly under the van’s back bumper. Between 17 and 19 seconds in, the fire near the van intensified dramatically, and everyone still visible could be seen running to the left side of the shot and out of the front yard.
From the 19-second mark, very little detail was visible for the remaining duration of the video. Explosions appeared to continue (as if unlit fireworks stored by the van were ignited by the uncontrolled fire), and it ended with giant spark trails zooming across the now-empty lawn.
We were unable to find an initial source for the clip, or even validate that the Simplisafe fireworks video was from July 2022. We visited Simplisafe’s Twitter timeline, where they confirmed they’d been asked about the clip and did not have further information:
We've received many comments and inquiries today about whether this was a planned event. We exist to protect our customers and don't make light of events that put their safety at risk. If you are or know someone in this video please let us know if everyone involved is safe. https://t.co/qGbC3YYDtA
— SimpliSafe (@SimpliSafe) July 6, 2022
Simplisafe raised an excellent point in their tweet, that it was not really clear if the event was staged or organic. Information about where the clip was filmed and who initially shared it was not readily available.
On July 5 2022, a Simplisafe fireworks video spread virally on Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. None of the variations we located provided any information about the origin of the footage, and it was unclear whether the events in the video were staged or authentic. Simplisafe, the brand whose watermark was visible in the video, acknowledged its virality on Twitter. However, information about when or whether the events occurred has yet to be made available.