When celebrating Independence Day this month, it is always best to leave fireworks displays to the experts. Besides setting an example of risk avoidance behavior for children, professional fireworks bring the added benefit of supervision by local fire departments. If you must utilize and ignite your own fireworks, please do follow these safety tips from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Also, refrain from engaging in celebratory gunfire. Celebratory gunfire involves shooting a firearm into the air into the air in celebration. Falling bullets often have unintended targets on the ground!