Sure, fireworks are a fun way to celebrate the Fourth. But that big bang can turn into a big bummer if you don’t take the necessary safety precautions.
Follow these tips to keep your family’s celebration of freedom injury-free:
- Read the label. People are injured every year by doing things the label warns against.
- Follow all local laws regarding fireworks use. Find out what they are beforehand — don’t wait for the police to fill you in later.
- Don’t use M-Class fireworks — they’re illegal. M-80s, M-100s, M-250s — all are illegally produced with no quality control, and are very dangerous.
- Don’t let kids handle fireworks. Your kids’ job: watch, cheer, ooh and aah. Only adults should handle and light the fireworks.
- Keep Fido in the house. Pets can not only be injured by fireworks, the loud noises frighten them, and may send them bolting down the street.
- Light fireworks outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles. Try to get at least 30 feet away for ground-based fireworks, and 100 yards away for aerial ones.
- Light one firework at a time, then move away fast. Leaning over to see if you “did it right” can quickly go wrong.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container. No bottle rockets, no cans or jars. See tip #1: Read the instructions and follow them.
- Have a water source nearby. Have a connected hose or a bucket of water at the ready, just in case something goes wrong.
- Don’t give a dud another chance. Don’t try to relight a disappointing firework. Dispose of it properly (see tip #13) and try another.
- Wear protective eyewear. Remember, you’re playing with fire, literally. Play it safe.
- Just say N-O to DIY. Don’t attempt to make your own fireworks. It’s a recipe for disaster.
- Dispose of fireworks safely. Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding in your garbage can, outdoors.
And of course, make sure your homeowners insurance coverage is up to date. Just in case. Talk to an agent, today.