Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July or New Year’s festivities. Fireworks, while fun to watch, can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Each year, there are many serious injuries such as burns, vision and hearing loss, and even deaths that could have been prevented by proper and safe use of fireworks.
If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
- Always read and follow all warnings and label instructions.
- Always have an adult present, and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- The adult igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Buy from reliable sellers.
- Use fireworks only outdoors.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals. Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened due to the igniting of fireworks.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash can.
- If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Stay away from illegal explosives.
The safest way to prevent fireworks related injuries and deaths is to leave the fireworks displays to trained professionals.
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