How to Enjoy Fireworks Safely

Fireworks are a staple at any Fourth of July celebration. For many people, they are as much a part of summer as hot dogs and popsicles by the pool. While they can bring a lot of enjoyment and family fun, they can also be very dangerous if not handled properly. If you are planning to celebrate with fireworks, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind.

Follow the Rules

Before you head to the store to purchase fireworks, it is important to know any rules or regulations that may be in place. Firework laws vary state by state, and some cities and neighborhoods may have regulations in place as well.

Buy Smart

If you’re planning to purchase fireworks, remember that all fireworks are not the same and you will need to do some research before purchasing. Make sure to only purchase from licensed firework retail locations and stay away from anything that isn’t clearly labeled with the name of the item, the manufacturer’s name and instructions for proper use. Lastly, know the difference between a dangerous explosive and a legal firework. Names such as M-80, M100, Blockbuster and Quarterpounder are illegal and banned.

Keep Away From Children

Fireworks of all types should be kept away from children. While they may seem fun, fireworks like sparklers, rockets and firecrackers can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. If you do allow your children to use sparklers, make sure to closely monitor them, keep them outside and ensure they keep the sparklers away from their face, hair and clothing.

Light Safely

Fireworks should always be lit outside and pointed away from houses, people, brush, leaves, trees and other flammable objects. Do not light fireworks in any type of container, and be sure to have a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of emergency. If a firework does not go off the first time it is lit, soak it in water and throw it away – do not attempt to re-light.

Protect Yourself

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 19 percent of firework-related injuries affect the eyes. Serious injuries can lead to hospitalization and even blindness. Besides being dangerous for your eyes, the sounds can potentially damage your hearing. To prevent any injury to your eyes or ears, consider wearing protective glasses or earplugs.

Avoid Alcohol

While many celebrations include alcohol, it is important to avoid alcoholic beverages if you plan to handle fireworks at any point during the day. Impaired judgment can lead to improper use of fireworks and lead to very serious accidents.

Dispose of Fireworks Correctly

Once your firework display is over, it is crucial that you properly dispose of the fireworks. Submerge them in a bucket of water and let them soak overnight or longer. Once they have soaked, they can be placed in household garbage cans and be set out with the trash.

Fireworks can be a fun and festive part of celebrating summer. By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can ensure everyone is safe and avoid injury. If an injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately.