Fireworks Safety

SUMMER-SAFETY-Firework-Safety-3We all remember the fun of watching fireworks when we were young or lighting sparklers in our backyards or when we were away camping. Although we don’t really think about it, playing with fireworks is in many ways, just like playing with fire itself. There may be minimal open flames but if anything goes wrong, serious injuries can and do happen. Parents and guardians must ensure fireworks safety.

Opt to enjoy fireworks at a public celebration versus having them at home. Different geographical areas have different laws regarding the use of fireworks. In some places, it is illegal to possess and use fireworks at home, in other areas is it allowed. We advocate an easy fireworks safety strategy and suggest you and your family enjoy public displays of fireworks whether at your local town park or a large city celebration. There are too many risks having fireworks at home from potential fire damage of flammable material in and around the house to more serious burn injuries. Public fireworks displays are handled by professionals and still provide great fun to watch.

BUT….If you absolutely insist on having fireworks at home or attending another residence during a celebration, follow the fireworks safety tips below.

Only purchase and use legal fireworks~You can identify legal fireworks by their packaging. If the fireworks have the name of the manufacturer clearly printed out and include instructions on how to use the fireworks safely, you are likely to possess safer firework material that is manufactured with certain guidelines. Illegal fireworks often have no such labels to identify where they were made nor or instructions for their safe use.

Always keep a bucket of water nearby when using fireworks~In case the fireworks backfire or someone gets burned, having water within reach can be helpful. You can also use the water to put out a fire if it arises while using the fireworks. It is better to have water in a bucket than to rely on a nearby faucet because of portability and convenience.

Always keep your distance from the fireworks~Do not let your children get too close to the person lighting the fireworks and if you are the one doing the lighting, leave your child in the hands of a responsible adult to watch over them. Regardless of their ages, children should not be allowed near them because fireworks have a tendency of flying in the wrong direction and they may get injured.

Always soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away~Small pieces of fireworks can still explode if ignited, so pick up the pieces before your child does and soak them in water. This will deactivate the fireworks and prevent them from exploding or causing a burn injury if your child finds them in the trash.

Never, ever try to reignite malfunctioned fireworks~If the firework does not ignite according to the directions or lights but appears defective, do not feel compelled to try and re-ignite to get it to go off. It is tempting as well feel it is a waste if the fireworks malfunction. Focus on enjoying the fully functional fireworks instead along with role-modeling the safest thing you can do.

Never, ever try to make your own fireworks~Not only is this illegal but it also can also cause serious fatal injuries. You’re also sending a very poor message to your child.

Rush anyone injured in a fireworks accident to the hospital~The most common injuries from fireworks displays are burns and eye injuries. If your child gets an eye injury, keep them from rubbing their eyes and do not try to wash it out using water. Call emergency response or arrange quick hospital care for the immediately. If it is a burn, remember the “stop, drop, and roll” to put out the fire.

Always light the fireworks one after the other~For the sake of fireworks safety, multiple ignited fireworks can pose a greater danger to everyone surrounding them. It will be easier to handle one firework at a time rather than two or three. And, never use one firework to light another!

If you would like more fireworks safety information, especially about the legal requirements in your area contact your nearest fire department.