KOMO TV has published a warning about tennis balls being turned into homemade giant firecrackers. Making a homemade firecracker, whether in a tennis ball or other device such as a pipe bomb, is illegal.
Tennis balls are often fun toys for dogs to play catch with. Hence the danger to a family pet as well as to adults and children.
KOMO TV notes that a man found a tennis ball firecracker near a lake in the Everett area in February.
Things to look for if you find a tennis ball on the ground are signs of tampering such as detectable seam, indicating that the tennis ball has been cut open. A tennis ball with a string or wire sticking out of it may suggest that the tennis ball has a fuse. Also, a hole in the tennis ball may indicate that a fuse had fallen out.
While a spokesman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office says that they have not received reports of abandoned suspicious tennis balls, care should be taken for anything suspicious that you might find on the ground. If you see a suspicious tennis ball, DO NOT touch it! In a Portland incident in 2000, a man walking his dog, found a tennis ball on the ground and tossed it a few times to play catch with his pet. The tennis ball exploded killing his dog.
Call 911 and let them know where the suspicious tennis ball is located.
For other resources about fireworks, go to,
National Council on Fireworks Safety:
Snohomish County Fire Marshal:
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: