Last week, we introduced our Safe Summer Tips series with a post about recognizing the signs of someone drowning. Today, we’re taking our summer safety tips in a brighter, louder direction: fireworks!
Try to imagine a summer celebration without fireworks; you don’t want to, do you? And with the 4th of July coming up – the biggest time for firework sales in the country besides New Year’s Eve – you may already be stocking up on Roman candles, sparklers, bottle rockets, poppers, Chinese dragons, black cats, ground spinners, aerial spinners, smokes and snakes, and whatever else they’ve come up with at the fireworks stand!
But before you start lighting up, read through these tips for staying safe during your light show. After all, there’s not much worse than your holiday weekend taking a turn for the worse with a trip to the ER:
Firework Safety Tips
Here are a few tips for firework safety from the National Council on Fireworks Safety, a nation-wide nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about safe and responsible firework fun:
Know (and obey) your local laws regarding firework use.
Read the cautionary labels and make sure to learn the performance descriptions before igniting.
Never leave children alone with fireworks; a responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
Absolutely NO drinking and firework-ing.
If you’re the one doing the lighting, wear safety goggles.
Only light one firework at a time before moving away quickly.
Fireworks should only be used outdoors, in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
Always keep a bucket of water or water hose nearby.
Never carry fireworks in your pocket and do not shoot them into metal or glass containers.
Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
Safe Firework Disposal
After you have some firework fun, it’s incredibly important to make sure you dispose of them in a safe way. Remember: it only takes a spark to start a fire. So when you’re done, wet the remnants of your fireworks and place them in a metal trash can away from anything that may catch fire easily until the next day.
If you encounter a firework that’s a dud, don’t try to relight it. Just like that old flame that also turned out to be a bit of a dud, it’s best to not try and rekindle a firework that doesn’t go off properly. Just stay away from it for 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before disposing of it properly.
Firework Legal Business
Just to make sure that all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, keep in mind that FAA regulations prohibit keeping and transporting fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage. So if you’re traveling this holiday weekend, buy your fireworks at your destination, don’t bring ‘em with you.
And always stay vigilant: if you notice anyone with illegal explosives, such as M-80s and quarter sticks, report what you see to the local fire or police department.
Fireworks & Pet Safety
If you have furry friends, it’s best to keep them away from fireworks altogether; don’t bring them to a firework display and never shoot fireworks of any kind near your pets. Our animals usually aren’t a fan of the loud sounds and flashing lights, so if fireworks are being used near your home, make sure your pet is in a safe, interior room, away from the sounds as much as possible. Also, make sure they have an identification tag in case they do get out and run off during a firework show.
When used properly, fireworks can be a fun and exciting part of the holidays. So if you plan to be around them this year, make sure to follow these safety tips so you can get as much fun out of them as you possibly can!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.