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Tips for Firework Safety

May 20, 2024
3 minutes

You know the damage fireworks can do to humans. So how can you use fireworks safely — without risking injury to a human or devastation to the environment? The absolutely basic, never-to-be-ignored, rule is “Keep fireworks away from kids”, and “Older children should use them under close adult supervision.”

Here are more safety tips from The National Safety Council:

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light them indoors.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite a device in a container.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that didn’t go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use fireworks that are illegal where you live.

 

The safety tips from Homeland Security come from its Transportation Safety Laboratory (TSL).

  • Always use fireworks outdoors and keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Designate a safe perimeter to keep people safely away from fireworks.
  • For ground-based devices such as fountains, the perimeter should be 35 feet out.
  • For aerial devices, it should be 150 feet. Fireworks that don’t go off when you light them can still explode.
  • Let duds sit for five or 10 minutes before you pick them up to dowse them in water.

 

Include pet safety as well as human safety in your plans. Pets find fireworks highly stressful. Bring your pets indoors, close curtains and blinds and turn on the radio to provide some distraction. Leave treats filled with food to comfort animals. Keep the weather in mind when using fireworks. Never use fireworks if your locale has a burn ban. Never set off fireworks where falling embers could ignite buildings or vegetation.

Homeland Security suggests using alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks. Know what laws in your community say about buying or using fireworks. Sparklers may appear to be a safe alternative to things that go boom, but they are not. The NSC says sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees — enough to melt metal. For children under five, sparklers account for half of all fireworks injuries. Keep them away from kids and use glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

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