Fireworks are festive, but they can also be dangerous. While you’re celebrating with family and
friends, stick to fireworks that don’t fly or explode, and follow these tips:
Keep kids away! Don’t let kids play with fireworks, and make sure they stay away from the lighting
zone. Even sparklers are dangerous, reaching temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt some metals. Closely supervise children, and make sure you’re in an open outdoor area, with no loose sleeves or long hair.
Be ready to douse any sparks. Make sure you have a bucket of water or garden hose ready, just in case. If a stray spark ignites some grass or something else, you don’t want to waste time digging trying to find water. When you’re done with your fireworks, drench them with water before depositing them safely in a metal trash can.
Know your area. Only light fireworks in an open space, away from dry brush or grass. Look around and make sure no potentially flammable items such as lawnmowers, gas cans, or paint cans are nearby. Annually, local fire departments respond to an estimated 50,000 fires that are started by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Only use legal fireworks. If fireworks are packaged in brown paper, they’re usually intended for
professional display. Fireworks intended for average consumers come with a label that includes a manufacturer’s name and directions for safe use.
Let duds be duds. If a firework malfunctions or doesn’t light properly, douse it with water. Attempting to re-light or fix fireworks can cause an explosion.
Avoid injury. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the weeks around Independence Day see a daily average of 230 people visiting the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries. To avoid getting hurt, never point or throw a firework at someone, even as a joke. When lighting a fuse, keep it in front of you and back away quickly. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket, as the friction can cause a spark.
With these tips and a little common sense, stay safe, and have a fun holiday weekend!
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