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.