As Independence Day rolls around each year, it’s time again for us all to brush up on fireworks safety. We don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun — we just want you to be as safe as possible. Every year, fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires, and thousands of people end up in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries.
So while the easiest way to avoid injury is to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, we know the Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same for some people without hosting their own party and display. Follow these fireworks safety tips to help you and your family enjoy the holiday injury-free.
Fireworks safety tips for all occasions
- Children should be supervised at all times around fireworks, sparklers or firecrackers. They get extremely hot and can cause serious burns. If your kiddos play with them anyway, make sure they use them outside and away from their face, clothing and hair — under VERY close supervision.
- Only buy legal fireworks, and store them in a cool, dry place. If fireworks are packaged in brown paper, they’re probably made for professional displays (and more dangerous). Never use M-80s, cherry bombs or quarter sticks. They are all illegal and EXTREMELY dangerous.
- Do not make your own fireworks.
- Never handle fireworks if you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Only use fireworks where it’s safe to use them — outdoors and a safe distance from homes, structures and anything else that could catch on fire.
- Make sure your audience is a very safe distance from where the fireworks are being lit.
- Keep pets indoors. The loud sounds of fireworks can scare any dog or cat away. More animals go missing during the July 4th holiday than any other time of year.
How to light fireworks safely
- Wear protective eyewear,
- Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of fire,
- Never throw or point them at someone or else,
- Only light one firework at a time,
- Don’t hover over them while lighting,
- Never light devices in a container,
- Never relight a dud,
- After lighting, move quickly away to a safe distance, and
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water after use before discarding.
When it comes to fireworks, you can never be too careful, so practice being over cautious at all times. And if someone is injured, seek medical attention immediately.