Holiday memories are created during 4th of July and summer celebrations, fireworks and sparklers are fun to watch but not exactly safe. Enjoy the bright shiny things at a distance and leave the fireworks display to the professionals.
If not handled properly, fireworks cause burns, eye injuries, and worse in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not lighting fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the show to the experts.
If fireworks are legal in your area, follow these safety tips:
- Light fireworks and sparklers outdoor only
- Obey local ordinances-confirm fireworks are allowed in your area by contacting the local fire or police department
- Keep a bucket of water close at all times and extinguish fireworks after use
- Read the instructions and follow directions
- Only light one at a time
- Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Stay clear and then soak with water
- Spectators need to maintain a safe distance
- Never place any part of the body on the firework when lighting it, once lit back up to a safe distance
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix! Have a “designated shooter”
- Do not use homemade fireworks and avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. Brown paper is usually a sign they were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to the average consumer
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person, even in jest
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket, the friction could set them off
- Do not shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers
- Once fireworks have finished burning, douse them with plenty of water to prevent a trash fire when you discard them
Sparklers are smaller than fireworks, but they pose just as much danger. One third of firework injuries involving children under five are as a result of sparklers.
Light Sparklers Safely:
- Always have an adult supervise
- Remain standing while holding sparklers
- Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time
- Wear closed-toe shoes while holding sparklers. The sparks that drop down to your feet can burn!
- Sparklers remain hot even after the sparkle is gone, so when finished drop into a bucket of water
- Never hand a lighted sparkler to someone. Instead, give them the unlit sparkler and then light it for them
- Encourage children never to run with a sparkler and to keep the sparkler extended at an arm’s length