4th of July Safety Tips
June 22, 2018
What’s meant to be an innocent, neighborly activity can quickly turn into a disaster without the proper precautions. Fireworks on Independence Day account for 28% of all fires and at least that amount in fire-related injuries according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). In honor of the holiday, our top four tips are below and the full list from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can be found here.
Keep All Fireworks Away From Children
The staggering number of ER visits during this time of year tell us that this firework safety tip doesn’t go without saying. About one-third of emergency room patients being seen for fireworks injuries were under 15 years of age (nine percent were under five). All fireworks, even sparklers, are a risk to children. Sparklers, burning at temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees, account for 28% of emergency room fireworks injuries during the 4th of July celebrations. Always have a designated adult supervising children when fireworks are present.
Know What You Are Purchasing
If they are illegal or previously used, don’t buy them. The quality of the fireworks you are purchasing is unknown and it’s not worth the risk.
If they are wrapped and sold in brown paper, don’t buy them. These were likely made for professional/commercial use and can pose a threat to consumers.
If they are illegal in your area, don’t buy them. It’s not worth breaking the law!
Fire Prevention Do’s and Don’ts
- Never relight or handle a dud. Wait 15 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water.
- Never light fireworks inside of containers, especially glass or metal.
- Never hold fireworks while lighting them.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never point or throw fireworks at people or living things.
- Always read warning labels and cautions before handling fireworks.
- Always light fireworks away from buildings and people.
- Always light fireworks outside away from flammables such as dry leaves or grass.
- Always light fireworks one at a time, preferably on cement, and step away after lighting.
- Always have a hose and/or a bucket of water nearby.
- Always soak all used fireworks in water before disposing in the trash.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Before worse comes to worse, you don’t have to be in the presence of danger. If you suspect foul play or are simply not comfortable, remove yourself and your family from the situation. Sure, you can try to talk some sense into any unruly hosts first but know you always have an out! Instead, watch the community firework display nearest your home.
We hope this has given you and your family insight into how to safely enjoy any fireworks display. City displays are often run by experienced professionals and very safe. Look for one in your hometown!