Published on Jul 01, 2014 by Edgar Snyder

The Safe Way to Sparkle

fireworks

Fireworks Safety Tips For Your July 4th Celebration

Fourth of July celebrations in the US are typically filled with picnics, outdoor fun, and festive fireworks to cap off the night. In addition to watching their town's professional display, many Americans also light fireworks on their own properties. Setting off dazzling sparklers and pinwheels may be the most exciting part of the day, but many people don't realize the risks that they can pose. From June to July each year, 200 people go to the ER every day with injuries related to fireworks.

While you don't have to completely exclude fireworks from your Independence Day celebration, make sure to follow these safety tips so you and your loved ones sparkle in the safest way possible.

Buy the Right Fireworks

buying fireworks

An accident-free Fourth of July starts with consumers being smart about which fireworks to purchase.

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them—four US states (DE, MA, NJ, NY) currently ban all consumer fireworks. Learn the Fireworks Control Laws in your state.
  • Do not buy fireworks that come in brown paper packaging. These types of fireworks are often made for professional use and could pose a serious risk to consumers.
  • Never make or set off homemade fireworks.
  • Think twice before buying sparklers—more children under five are injured by sparklers than by any other type of fireworks. They burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals.

Always Have Adult Supervision

fireworks parent safety

Children love fireworks, but they should never be allowed to light them without a trustworthy adult present.

  • The adult supervisor should not only be trustworthy, but should also be sober. They need to be able to spring into action quickly if an accident occurs.
  • The adult should not allow very young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • The adult should have a bucket of water, garden hose, or fire extinguisher handy in case of a fire.
  • Before any fireworks are lit, the adult must make sure that all pets are safety indoors and away from the activities. Not only can pets be injured by fireworks, but the loud noises can also scare pets and may cause them to run away.

Maintain Proper Fireworks Etiquette

child sparkler

Remember that fireworks are low-grade explosives and should be treated as such.

  • Always read and follow the directions on the label.
  • Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Light only one firework at a time.

Although fireworks may be perfectly legal in your area, any kind of firework can cause injuries if it malfunctions or isn't used properly. Keep everyone safe by being aware and in control of all fireworks related activities this July 4th.

"American Pyrotechnics Association." Americanpyro.com. June 30, 2014.
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