How to stay safe when handling fireworks

Fireworks Safety Belmont VFD

Independence Day is right around the corner. Even as we are subject to state mandated gathering restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, consumer fireworks are sure to be ignited on the 4th of July.

Every year around 10,000 people in the USA are treated for injuries in hospitals resulting from mishandling fireworks. Furthermore, fires ignited by fireworks cause over $100 million in property damage every year. Keeping in mind these sobering statistics, it’s extremely important to know how to handle these devices in order to prevent fires and injuries.

Here are some tips to ensure we all enjoy 4th of July celebrations safely:

  • Fireworks are often banned within city limits and during burn bans, but in rural and unincorporated areas, they are often permitted as long as they are used on private property, 600 ft away from churches, hospitals, day-care centers or schools. If in doubt, verify with local authorities if fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • It’s illegal to shoot fireworks from public roadways, public property, lakes, parks or U.S. Corps of Engineer Property.
  • Never allow young children to play or ignite fireworks. Always have adults supervise firework activities, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at very high temperatures, hot enough to burn some metals, and therefore are a cause of injury for adults and children alike.
  • Avoid placing any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting any fireworks.
  • Do not try re-lighting or picking up fireworks that have not fully ignited.
  • Never point or throw fireworks towards another person or property.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Finally, it’s always best to let professionals handle fireworks. To keep your property, your health and your pets safe, we recommend attending a public display of fireworks such as those held in Gonzales on July 4th. If you do decide to attend a 4th of July fireworks event, we strongly recommend you follow CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus infection.

Read more about Firework Safety on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

Published on: June 27, 2020

Category: Safety Tips