The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Many people in locally and nationally are injured each year due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible fireworks:
- During the use of permissible fireworks, minors should be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one fireworks device at a time, then back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Avoid buying or handling fireworks that come packaged in brown paper as this can often be a sign that the fireworks are commercial or display-type fireworks made for professional fireworks shows. These fireworks can pose a serious danger to consumers and the public.
- Adults should always supervise activities involving the use of permissible fireworks. Parents often do not realize there are more injuries from sparklers to children under five than from any other type of fireworks. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
- When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
- Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
- Read the directions.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
For an expanded list of fireworks safety tips, as well as information on fireworks safety-related publications, reports, videos, news, and recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Information Center online.