The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend public displays conducted by professionals. However, if you want to use fireworks yourself, ensure that you store and handle them with extreme caution. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks cause an average of 18,500 reported fires and injure about 9,300 people per year in the U.S. Follow the tips below to safely store and handle fireworks.
How to Safely Store Fireworks
- Keep the fireworks outside your home and away from living areas. A locked storage shed is ideal. Keeping fireworks dry is essential, so be mindful of where you store them.
- If you must keep fireworks in areas that can get damp, such as a greenhouse, basement or attic, wrap them up tightly in sealed plastic bags. Put a packet of silica gel desiccant in the fireworks containers.
- Don’t store fireworks or other explosives in self-storage units.
- If the storage area is not prone to humidity, you can keep fireworks in their original packaging or in a fireproof container.
- Store fireworks away from heat or ignition sources such as water heater, as well as from flammable materials like oil or paint.
- Lock fireworks in a cabinet or other container if small children or pets have access to where you store the fireworks.
How to Safely Use Fireworks
- Don’t let children handle fireworks, including firecrackers and sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees and account for more than one-quarter of fireworks injuries.
- Don’t use fireworks if you have been drinking alcohol or are impaired in any way.
- Use fireworks outside, in a clear area, and away from homes, trees, vehicles or other objects.
- Postpone your fireworks display if it’s windy. The wind can push sparks into nearby buildings, trees, or grass, and cause fires.
- Have a bucket of water and a hose handy in case of accidents.
- Wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks.
- Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket as friction may set them off.
- Don't hold fireworks in your hand or place any part of your body over them when igniting the fuse.
- Never shoot fireworks in plastic, metal or glass containers.
- Never throw or point fireworks at someone. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter.
- Light one firework at a time, then step back quickly. Don’t try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks or pieces of fireworks.
Learn additional fireworks safety tips to keep you and your family safe when using fireworks. If you’re hosting an Independence Day party, make sure to read our holiday party safety checklist. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your local PuroClean office.