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BEWARE of Soda-Bottle Bombs!

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Michelle Kemper Brownlow:A few weeks ago, my good friend (who is a cop) passed along an e-mail he'd gotten from another precinct. It described the newest trend among teens: SODA-BOTTLE BOMBS. My friendtold me to tell my kids to alert an adult if they found a liquid-filled soda bottle in the yard. When I was young, our prank inventory consisted of a roll of toilet paper. These days, it's explosives!

Drano Bomb

Apparently, a strong chemical reaction can be created when you put Drano and tinfoil inside a bottle, close it and add motion (i.e., by picking it up). It's about thirty seconds until detonation. reported, "Once the detonation occurs, the chemical substance that is in the bottle ... actually [becomes] a boiling liquid. The amount of force that is generated at the time of the explosion is enough to sever fingers and can also deliver second- and third-degree chemical burns to the victim. The chemicals can possibly cause blindness, and the toxic fumes can be harmful."

Last night, some idiot kid did the old Ding-Dong Ditch around 10:30. I turned to see who was at the door, only to see a blue T-shirt running away. Big deal, right?

I didn't think much of it; it didn't wake my youngest, so who cares? At least, that's how I felt until my neighbor pounded on my door with her Rottweiler by her side. She said there were some kids up to no good around our houses, and that she just wanted me to be aware. That's when we heard the "pop." We both ducked, not knowing what was coming at us. We looked around and saw nothing, but as she continued talking, a plume of smoke rose from the grass about twelve feet away. I did what my cop friend had said to do: I called 911.

There are numerous "recipes" for these types of bombs, some more dangerous than others. The travesty is, kids can simply search YouTube for step-by-step instructions. So no matter the contents, STAY AWAY and KEEP YOUR KIDS AWAY from any unknown bottle you find. This prank could turn deadly.

Soda bottle:$1.89
Drano: $3.99
Watching two kids shaking in their shoes in the back of a squad car while being ID'd by my neighbor:PRICELESS.

next: How to Truly Unplug When You're on Vacation
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