Safe Handling of Fireworks
 
By Commissioner Steven Freeman
June 19, 2019
 

Every year, about 13,000 people are treated for injuries in hospital emergency departments due to the mishandling of live, misfired and waste consumer fireworks (CPSC Fireworks Information Center). In addition, fires resulting from fireworks cause over $20 million in direct property damage (NFPA).

The best way to stay safe from fireworks is to not use them. Instead, attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals.
Fireworks are dangerous to people and pets. Using them puts your property at risk.
Hand-held sparklers burn at 1,200 F. Remember, wood ignites at 356 F and burns at 575 F.

Recommended Safety Tips

• Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
• Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
• A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
• Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
• Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
• Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
• Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
• Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
• Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
• FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
• Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

• Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
• If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
• Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
• Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.