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My Compass Group

13800 Coppermine Road, Herndon, VA 20171

877-521-1388

Griffin-Owens Insurance Specialists

847 Station Street, Herndon, VA 20170

(703) 471-0050

My Compass Group

13800 Coppermine Road, Herndon, VA 20171
877-521-1388

Griffin-Owens Insurance Specialists

847 Station Street, Herndon, VA 20170
(703) 471-0050

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 Know Before You Glow: Fireworks Safety Tips

If you choose to enjoy fireworks at home, here’s what you need to know to enjoy them safely.

 Know Before You Glow: Fireworks Safety Tips for a Worry-Free Holiday

 

Nothing screams “Fourth of July” quite like fireworks; their bright, sparkling lights and distinctive “pops” and “bangs” make them the perfect finale to a fun summer holiday. However, just like any other activity that involves fire, there are certain risks involved when you use them.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 74% of all fireworks-related injuries during the year occur in the weeks leading up to and following July 4th, sending an estimated 11,500 people to the emergency room.  Not to mention, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires annually, including more than 2,000 structure fires. 

Certainly, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a professional display, but if you must enjoy fireworks at home, here’s what you need to know to enjoy them safely.

 

What are the laws surrounding fireworks in your area?

Local ordinances and rules differ between counties or states, so it is important to contact local authorities in your area or the area where you will be celebrating to ensure that you are following the law. That is where your fireworks safety starts.

In Virginia, it is illegal to possess, use, store, sell, or handle any firework that explodes, travels laterally, or is fired into the air. However, fireworks that stay on the ground, such as pinwheels and fountains, or are held in your hand, like sparklers, are legal through the state code. For a list of permissible fireworks in Virginia, click here. 

If you’re using fireworks that are legal in your area and an accident happens, like a house fire or an injury to a guest, you’ll typically have coverage under your homeowners insurance policy.

If you choose to use illegal fireworks, however, not only are you putting yourself at risk for criminal charges and fines, but your homeowners policy will not cover any potential damage to persons or property that results from their use.

 

How do you enjoy fireworks safely?

Here are some basic  fireworks safety tips:

  • Do not use fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, and ensure they are a safe distance from buildings and spectators. Make sure your gutters, roof, and deck are clear of leaves or other combustible materials.
  • Supervise children and pets at all times.
    • Loud sounds can scare pets and cause them to run away, so it’s best to keep them indoors during your fireworks display.
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing, tie long hair back, and be sure to wear protective eyewear during use.
  • Move quickly away to a safe distance after you light the firework.
  • Do not throw or point a firework at another person or object, and only light one firework at a time.
  • Never attempt to relight a firework that does not light (also known as a “dud”)
  • Keep a hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher nearby
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water after use and before you discard them.

 

In what circumstances would you be covered for fireworks-related injuries or damages?

At Rockingham Insurance, most property policies include coverage for personal liability. For example, if you light a small fountain firework and an accidental house fire results from the sparks, you will likely be covered. If, however, you and a buddy start fighting with sparklers, and one of you ends up injured, you may not be covered.

However, there are certain policy limitations and exclusions¹, so it is important to contact your trusted local Rockingham Insurance agent to determine what is and isn’t covered under your specific policy. 

 

¹Keep in mind that all claims and coverages are determined at the time of loss and are subject to investigation to determine the cause of loss and if coverage applies. 

 

At Rockingham Insurance, we want you to enjoy a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday. If you want to be sure your home is protected before this year’s festivities, reach out to your local Rockingham Insurance agent today.

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