Fireworks are a big deal in the U.S. on July 4th and there’s no better way to celebrate independence day than blowing stuff up and creating a few colorful sparks!
As you know, fireworks are extremely dangerous and should only be used by those who implement some sort of safety guidelines. The last thing you want is to end up being one of the 280 people that visit the emergency room with firework related injuries on July 4th.
Here are a few safety tips that if followed, should allow you to have an injury free fourth of July!
1. Never let children handle fireworks. Sparklers are okay, but be cautions and have an adult watching them. Sparklers burn hot enough to melt some metals, so just imagine what they could do to a child’s hands. Keep a close eye on children at any events where people are lighting fireworks.
2. Do not purchase fireworks that are wrapped in brown paper. These types of fireworks are usually meant to be handled by trained professionals.
3. Never re-light a firework that didn’t go off after the first lighting. Wait at least 20-minutes before handling the dud firework, then soak it in a bucket of water. Keep buckets of water or a hose nearby at all times.
4. Avoid alcohol while handling fireworks. Save the booze for watching the show, not putting on the show. You are only asking for trouble if you drink and light off fireworks.
5. Always fully read the caution labels and instructions for every firework that you are going to set off. Just a friendly reminder.
6. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. Bottle rockets are well known for shooting back into people’s eyes.
7. Light fireworks in an open area. Make sure that there are no trees, houses or any other sort of building around when lighting fireworks. If you are shooting larger fireworks, make sure to place them on a flat, level surface and inside an open top enclosure if possible. This reduces the risk of fireworks falling over once lit.
8. Keep pets inside. Most times, pets are scared of fireworks and the noises they produce. They can also prove as a distraction while trying to light off fireworks.
9. Stay far away from M-class fireworks, like M-80s or M-100s. These types of “M” series fireworks are illegal and very, very dangerous. They are often times unpredictable and cause major explosions.
10. After your display, soak all fireworks in water. This is the safest thing to do as some fireworks may not have gone fully off and others may be smoldering, which left unattended can start a fire.
11. Create a square with cinder blocks. Cinder blocks are great for creating a ‘safety’ zone for fireworks that are being set off. You can either make a complete square using cinder blocks and place the fireworks inside the square. Or at the least, create a wall two blocks high and place it between the crowd and the fireworks being set off.