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The safe way to handle fireworks

Fireworks are a hallmark of any Fourth of July festivity. For some people, that means going to watch a professional fireworks display. For others, it means putting on a show in their own backyard.

Maybe you've been playing with sparklers and firecrackers since you were a kid, and you feel confident that you can put on a fireworks show without a hitch. However, amateur fireworks displays result in tragic injuries each Fourth of July. In 2016, more than 11,000 people were hospitalized due to fireworks-related accidents.

In order to prevent your Independence Day festivities from ending in catastrophe, we've provided some basic safety tips that anyone operating fireworks should know:

  • Safe setting: Always pick an open, clear space to set off fireworks--free of brush or any other flammable material. Maintain a safe distance from other people or animals. Keep all fireworks out of reach of children.
  • Safety equipment: Before you begin the show, fill a couple of buckets with water, and keep them nearby, in case of a fire. Also have a garden hose of fire extinguisher on standby. Wear protective goggles when operating fireworks.
  • Safe operation: Always aim fireworks into an area clear of trees, buildings, people and animals. Only light one firework at a time. Light each firework only once. If a firework doesn't ignite, do not re-light.


Once the show is over, correct disposal of fireworks is a critical step to prevent an unnecessary accident. Any unused fireworks or fireworks that failed to ignite are still explosive and need to be handled properly. Place all unignited fireworks in a bucket of water overnight. Then, while the fireworks are still wet, wrap them in two layers of plastic--to prevent them from drying out. You can now dispose of them with the rest of your trash.

Following the above guidelines will help ensure you and your family have a safe, happy holiday celebration.

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