According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries each year.
How to Use Fireworks Safely
•Obey fireworks laws. Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding consumer fireworks, so it’s important to learn and follow the fireworks laws in your state. Also, purchase products that comply with your state, city or town’s rules.
•Only purchase legal fireworks. They have a label with the manufacturer’s name and instructions. Don’t buy fireworks packaged in brown paper, which could be made for professional displays. Illegal fireworks are unlabeled and their names includeM-80, M100, blockbuster, and quarter pounder, among others. Although they were banned in 1966 for safety reasons, some people still make and sell them.
•Keep fireworks safe and dry. Store fireworks in a plastic or metal container with a secure lid. Keep the container outside your home and away from living areas, preferably in a locked storage shed. Make sure the storage area is cool and dry and that fireworks aren’t close to heat sources.
Use fireworks with caution:
1. Always read the instructions and safety precautions on the label.
2. Never allow children to handle fireworks, not even firecrackers or sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. They account for over one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
3. If you have been drinking or are chemically impaired, don’t use fireworks!
4. Only use fireworks outside, in a spacious area, and away from homes, trees, vehicles, and other objects.
5. When lighting the fuse, don’t hold fireworks in your hand or place any part of your body over them. Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket — friction may set them off.
6. Never shoot fireworks in plastic, metal or glass containers.
7. Never throw or point fireworks at someone. They may backfire or steer in the wrong direction. In addition, spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter.
8. Light only one firework at a time, then move back quickly. Always discard malfunctioning fireworks or pieces of fireworks. Don’t relight or handle them as they may explode. • Discard spent fireworks safely. Wait 20 minutes after lighting, then soak firework duds in a bucket of water. Put the wet duds in a metal trash can until the next day. During this time, keep the can away from buildings or combustible materials.
How to Protect Your Pets from Fireworks
• Remember animals have sensitive ears and can easily get scared by loud noises. Put your pets in a safe, interior room where the sound will be low. Play some comforting music and give pets toys to help distract them.
• Make sure your pets wear ID tags. They may run off due to the sound of fireworks.
• Never shoot fireworks near pets.