Use Caution with Fireworks

Posted on July 1, 2016

What would the Fourth of July be without cookouts, baseball games and pyrotechnic displays in the night sky? It is easy to forget fireworks are dangerous explosives, and carelessness could have deadly consequences.

The federal government has banned sales of the most dangerous fireworks to consumers, such as cherry bombs and M-80s. But sparklers, firecrackers and smaller fireworks remain legal in most states. To make sure your holiday celebrations don’t end with a trip to the emergency room, follow these safety tips:

  • Sparklers are not safe for small children. They burn at temperatures up to 2,000 F – hot enough to melt some metals – and can set clothes on fire.
  • Ignite fireworks in a clearing, away from power lines, homes, other structures, dry leaves, grass and other flammable materials. Never light them in any type of container.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of emergencies and for fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
  • Check instructions for storage, but generally keep fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Do not place any part of your body directly over fireworks while you are lighting them, and immediately move away as soon as the device is lit.
  • “Homemade” fireworks kits are illegal. Never try to make your own.
  • After fireworks have completely burned out, soak them with a hose before throwing them in the trash to help prevent fires.

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate, but use caution with fireworks – and always look up for power lines before you shoot anything skyward.