Ah, the Fourth of July. I can almost smell the roaring grills and see the patriotic parade floats already. But as we all know, the Fourth of July is never complete without the vibrant explosions of red, white, and blue fireworks in the sky followed by the monstrous booms that echo into the night.
While many people enjoy local fireworks shows on the Fourth of July, many more choose to take the show back to their homes with everything from sparklers and snappers to firecrackers and bottle rockets. However, each year thousands of people receive firework-related injuries, according to The National Council on Firework Safety. While the best way to prevent firework injuries is to avoid using home fireworks, many people will choose to do so anyway.
If you do plan on using fireworks this Fourth of July season, and consumer fireworks are permitted by your local laws, use these precautions for keeping yourself and your family safe.
- Designate one responsible adult to light and shoot off all fireworks. Never let children light fireworks. If children are going to use sparklers, have an adult light the sparkler for them and take the sparkler stick away from them when they are done.
- Never place any part of your body over the firework while lighting it. Fireworks and their fuses are sporadic. Carefully light them at a safe distance and immediately back away after lighting.
- Follow the directions on the label of each firework. Know the specifics of each firework. Be aware of how the firework will go off and in what direction. If there is not a label on the firework, then it is an illegal firework and should not be lit.
- Light fireworks away from flammable materials and always point away from homes. Fireworks cause nearly 20,000 fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Be sure to point fireworks away from anything flammable to prevent structural, vehicle, and outside fires.
- Keep a bucket of water and hose nearby. Water can be used to extinguish fires or cool burns if accidents occur. Additionally, both used and dud fireworks should be soaked in water before being thrown away in an outdoor trash can.
Do you and your family use fireworks on the Fourth of July? What precautions do you take to keep your family safe?