Independence Day generally isn’t usually complete without the image of fireworks bursting in the sky to a chorus of “oohs” and “ahs” from an awe filled crowd below. This is a long ongoing tradition and has brought generations of Americans together to celebrate the birth of our nation since, well, the birth of our nation. While the word “fireworks” may conjure images of eye patches and missing digits to the more cautious of you, there are some tips to make sure that your Fourth is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
First off, know your local laws about where you can buy and use fireworks. Many local municipalities outlaw even the POSSESSION of fireworks within city limits. Burn bans and drought conditions can also affect the legality of using fireworks at a location where it would otherwise be legal. No one wants to end their family fireworks show by going to jail or explaining how a wildfire got started.
Common Sense Fireworks Safety Tips:
Courtesy of the National Council on Fireworks Safety
• Know your fireworks; Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
• Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
• Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
• Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
• Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
• Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
• Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
• Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.
• Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.