Summer is all about relaxing and enjoying yourself. These fireworks safety tips will guarantee safe, memorable moments.
It's a beautiful, balmy summer evening. Everyone is in good spirits, and as the sun sets, the fireworks come out. What happens next isn't always so sparkly and colorful. Fireworks are responsible for thousands of serious injuries, tens of thousands of fires, and even several deaths each year. Follow these fireworks safety tips to have fun and stay injury-free.
1. Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby.
When you light fireworks, you're playing with fire. Keep a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher, or a working hose within easy reach for the duds, the pile of dry leaves you didn't notice, and any other unexpected situations.
2. Never, ever, ever let children use fireworks unattended.
For that matter, children should not use fireworks at all. Even the seemingly harmless sparklers can burn tiny hands and arms. If it's hot enough to melt metal, it's hot enough to burn your child.
3. Designate an official lighter.
Choose one responsible adult to light the fireworks. You avoid potential accidents with only one person in charge. It should go without saying, but the designated handler should not be under the influence. Alcohol, fire, and explosions are not a good party mixer.
4. Do not attempt to re-use a "dud."
A dud can still explode. Your best bet is to douse it with water (see rule #1) and leave it alone for at least 20 minutes. In the case of bottle rockets that don't ignite, DO NOT look into the opening. Just recently a man in Maine tragically died because of a dud exploding.
5. Do not throw lit fireworks at anyone.
This should be self-explanatory, yet sadly, you don't have to look far to find stories about an injury for this very reason. Would you want someone throwing a lit cherry bomb at you? No, so don't play around, even in a joking manner, with any fireworks.
6. Keep a safe distance.
What makes a distance "safe" depends on what fireworks you use. In most cases, a distance of about 20 feet will work, but practice good judgment. Larger explosions require more distance.
7. Wear safety glasses.
Safety glasses can save your eyes when sparks shoot around and jumping jacks fly into the air. While it might not be possible for everyone to have safety glasses, at a minimum, the designated handler should wear them.
8. Obey the law.
This is another in the list of self-explanatory fireworks safety tips. Some cities and towns do not allow fireworks for good reason. It is easy for stray fireworks to end up on a neighbor's roof or to hit a passing car. Check your local ordinances to find out what rules your town or city has for personal fireworks.
9. Listen to fire safety reports.
Dry leaves, trees, and grass can easily ignite if a spark from a firework lands in the right place. If those dry leaves are on the roof of your house or a neighbor's house, you could have a fireworks display that will ruin your day. If your local fire department prohibits fireworks until after a good rain, listen to them.
10. Only buy legal fireworks.
You wouldn't buy Tylenol from a do-it-yourself pharmacist. You wouldn't purchase a television that your cousin's neighbor's friend made himself. Why would you buy explosives from an unknown vendor? Legal consumer fireworks will have labels and instructions on them. If they don't, then they are either for professionals or manufactured illegally. In either case, those aren't the fireworks you want to set off with your friends and family.
If you follow these fireworks safety tips and use common sense, you'll have a fantastic time. Enjoy your summer evening, the warm air, and the beauty of fireworks.
Unfortunately, fireworks can cause serious home damage through small and large fires. Have you checked your home insurance recently? Make sure your home is protected and call your local Pekin Insurance agent today!
What other fireworks safety tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments so all of our readers can safely appreciate a pyrotechnic display.