Fireworks – our safety tips
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals. After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active.
But if you want to lighten fireworks at home, keep these safety tips in mind as if not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries.
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand. Never buy fireworks from an individual’s house or from someone on the street. Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
- Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.
If someone is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention.
If it’s a burn, remove gently clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.