Americans buy nearly 300 million pounds of fireworks every 4th of July, amounting to 90% of residential fireworks purchased every year. With that many fireworks in use, it’s important to discuss safety with your family and friends before lighting fireworks or sparklers.
So before you kick off your 4th of July celebration, make sure everyone stays safe with these firework & sparkler safety tips!
Purchase only legal residential fireworks
It can be tempting to buy the biggest firework you can find, but commercial (or illegal) fireworks are not intended for residential use. They require special equipment to safely light, a large area to set them off, and even then fire departments are generally on site and alert just in case something doesn’t go as planned. If you want to see large commercial fireworks, we recommend going to a professional local display instead.
Choose where the fireworks will be set off carefully
Fireworks represent a significant Fire and injury hazard. Carefully choose a location to set the fireworks off from that will be far away from people, trees, homes, and other structures. Every year, 18,500 fires are caused by fireworks, so this potential risk cannot be overstated.
Similarly, anyone viewing the fireworks should be far away from the fireworks themselves. We recommend designating a set area for everyone to stay in while the fireworks are going off. Make sure that an adult is in this area as well to ensure that kids don’t wander out of this designated area or get hurt.
Children should always be supervised
Whether you’re setting off fireworks or lighting sparklers, children should be supervised the entire time. While many people view sparklers as relatively harmless, they burn at 1,800 °F, which can cause a serious burn. Instead of allowing small children to hold sparklers themselves, we recommend giving them an opportunity to enjoy the sparkler from a safe distance instead.
Never pick up a "dud" or misfire
If a firework doesn’t ignite properly, it’s important to recognize that it could still go off. For this reason, it is important to never pick up a dud or misfire with your hands. Instead, allow it some time to discharge itself (at least 30 minutes). If that doesn’t happen, pick it up with a shovel and drop it immediately into a bucket of water before disposing of it.
Thoroughly put out all fireworks before disposing of them
Even fireworks and sparklers that look like they’re extinguished could be able to start a fire. Keep a bucket of water outside and dunk each firework or sparkler before throwing it away to avoid a potential fire. Special disposal requirements may be in place by your municipality, so be sure you check with them before disposing of fireworks.
Be prepared for the worst
Even if you’ve taken every precaution, it’s important to plan for the worst. Fire is never something you expect to happen, so make sure to have a fire extinguisher handy. We also recommend having a garden hose available just in case the fire extinguisher is insufficient for any reason.
From everyone here at Disaster Blaster, we hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July celebration!
"We're Here for You" ®
*This story originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Connections Magazine, as part of a monthly contribution made by Disaster Blaster, Inc. Please check out the current issue of Connections Magazine for this month's story!
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