SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Safely celebrating Independence Day is a top priority for a family in KELOLAND. That’s why they’ve created a business around that mission.
Michael Knopf is known for churning out different ideas.
“All my life I kind of made little games and stuff,” Safety Rocket Launcher President Michael Knopf said.
Back in the 80s he decided to to try his hand at a special firing tube for stick rockets.
He and his family made them by hand, wooden base and all.
“We made these all out of metal,” Michael Knopf said.
Making them with those materials wasn’t cost-effective, but that wouldn’t mark the end of of his business.
Fast forward to today and he and his family are selling Safety Rocket Launchers, which are now produced by a manufacturer.
It’s made of a different material these days, but the goal of safety is still the same.
So how exactly does it work?
“You stick it on sideways, so you stick it in the ground, then you can actually put your fuse right out of the fuse slot,” Michael Knopf said.
The product is designed to help prevent fireworks-related injuries.
“Oh my goodness, there’s so much danger on the 4th that–we’ve even watched on some filming of stick rockets when they were put in bottles and what not, flying at adults and hitting children, people have lost eyes, and it’s like it’s terrible,” Michael Knopf said.
The president of the business says they sell tens of thousand of the devices each year all over the country and locally.
While the business has grown over the years, family is still at the center.
“And we just believe you have to do the very best you can and my mother’s instilled that in everyone of us,” Pam Knopf with Safety Rocket Launcher said.
“We’re into safety. Our whole family is,” Michael Knopf said.
Michael says they usually sell about 80,000 a year locally and across the country, but this year, sales are down because of COVID-19.