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Fireworks – as enamoring as they may be – aren’t without their dangerous elements. They can cause serious injury as well as fires. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association averaged an 18,500 fires per year – 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside/other fires – all from fireworks. Fireworks are not to be careless with. We’d like to offer up some crucial fireworks safety tips for your 4th of July. If you have a permit to light fireworks (learn more about getting a permit by clicking here), don’t forget these tips before you start your display.
Always keep pets and children away from fireworks. Children are filled with curiosity and may want to run up toward a firework as it’s setting off. Hold your child so they don’t run off during a fireworks show, and if you’re lighting them, make sure they’re in a safe space far away from the fireworks. Animals hear more than we do, and the crackling of fireworks can truly scare them. Many dogs actually come up missing on July 5th. You might want to bring your dog around with you to the block party thinking they’ll have a great time, but they likely won’t. It’s best to keep them inside while fireworks are going off.
Rethink the safety of sparklers. They may seem harmless, but they burn at up to 1,200 degrees. If a child doesn’t know how to properly use a firework, they could end up getting a spark in their eye, their mouth, or burning themselves. They also might think it’s safe to throw them around, at each other, on the floor (which could cause a fire) or even at you. Statistics show that sparklers lead in the types of fireworks causing injuries. It’s best not to let children play with sprinklers.
Only adults should light off fireworks. Even if you’re supervising a child who so badly wants to light off a firework, it’s still dangerous. Never let a child light off a firework.
Make sure that you put space between you and any fireworks you light. Make sure that there’s a clear path between you and a safer space, far away from the firework, to get to before the firework goes off.
Make sure there is enough space in general. Don’t light off fireworks directly under trees, pointed anywhere but up, or in a confined area. There must be plenty of room surrounding a fireworks setup.
Never light numerous fireworks off at once – always one at a time. Many firework enthusiasts tie them together. This is simply dangerous. One firework might light off only a split second after the others and be sent off to the sides instead of up, endangering everyone that’s watching the firework display. Additionally, you need to be able to place space between you and the fireworks before they go off. A fuse may only have 3 seconds until it lights off a firework – that’s 3 seconds to get to a safe space. Add more fuses to light at once and you have less time to get away from the firework.
Make sure the weather is safe for fireworks. If it’s windy out, postpone the display until the wind and weather is calm. A hard gust could knock over a firework, endangering everyone watching the fireworks display. Wind can also propel fireworks onto neighbors’ houses, trees, or other flammable areas.
Never try to relight duds. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes before disposing of them. When you do dispose of them, hose them down or splash a bucket of water at them from a distance.
Make sure you have water nearby for the entire fireworks display. Make sure after your fireworks display is finished, you pour water over all fireworks, used or not, before throwing them in the trash.