Fourth of July just doesn’t seem the same without the traditional dazzle of fireworks. But the sparkly pyrotechnics can be dangerous. If you’re planning to kick off this Independence Day with a bang, don’t forget these tips for staying safe.
Pay close attention to your local laws — many cities and even some states, especially those in regions susceptible to summer wildfires, ban almost all fireworks sales and usage. Seek out professionally sponsored shows if you can’t light the fuse at home.
- Purchase legal fireworks from reputable sources (illegal fireworks don’t generally include a label with mandated caution statements). Never use homemade fireworks.
- Have at least 1 supervising adult present when children are there, and never give fireworks to kids under 12.
- Avoid alcohol if you’re lighting the fireworks.
- Wear shoes at all times to avoid stepping on hot wires or embers.
- Keep a bucket of water on hand to douse any renegade flames and permanently extinguish fireworks that have died out. And never try to relight a dud.
- Provide enough outdoor space to set off fireworks. Clear dry grass, debris, and any chemicals out of the area. Stay a safe distance away — at least 20 feet (40 feet for aerial devices), and always consult the label for exact recommendations.