Fourth of July Fireworks: Beautiful, Patriotic… and Dangerous
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60% of all fireworks injuries occur around July 4th. While these loud bursts of light and color add flair to celebrations, it should be remembered that fireworks are explosive devices and must be handled with care. Many communities celebrate the Fourth of July with firework shows they are often managed by professionals and are executed under controlled circumstances, which allows for the safe enjoyment of the show by the public. However, lots of people also celebrate Independence Day with fireworks at private events, like backyard barbecues, picnics and beach parties.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following tips for safe use of fireworks:
- Know your fireworks; Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
- Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
- Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
- Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
The quickest way to ruin your holiday is to have a friend or family member injured by a mistake with something as volatile as fireworks. You also want to make sure that you’re minimizing the risk to buildings and cars in the area where you celebrate, as mishandled fireworks pose an obvious fire risk. Make sure if you’re using fireworks you’ve got lots of clear space away from houses, garages, etc. Your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent can help you understand the risks you may face if you’re using fireworks as part of your holiday celebration.
We wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!
US Consumer Product Safety Commission