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By NPI, Inc.


NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team

    

Firework Safety 101: Stay Safe This Fourth of July

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, you’re probably busy stocking up on fireworks and finalizing plans with family and friends. While firework safety might be one of the last things on your mind in the midst of all the bustle, it’s worth looking into. An estimated 11,000 people were injured by fireworks-related incidents in 2016, and those were just the ones reported! The vast majority of those accidents? Entirely preventable. Take a moment to review these safety tips and keep your loved ones out of danger this Fourth of July.

Know Your Local Laws
Before you consider setting off fireworks at home, you’ll need to check up on your local laws. Certain states have banned fireworks outright or prohibit the use of certain kinds of fireworks. These regulations change all the time, so even if you think you know your city or state’s views on fireworks, it never hurts to review them.

Don’t Give Fireworks to Your Kids
Even though they’re considered a “kid’s” firework, you might be surprised to know that sparklers are the leading cause of injuries on the Fourth of July. Sparklers can reach up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause severe burns or even catch clothing on fire. All fireworks, even those that are widely thought of as innocuous, should be lit by adults and closely supervised at all times.

Keep Fireworks Away from Homes, Buildings and Vehicles
The farther you can move away from structures and cars, the better, when it comes to shooting off fireworks safely. But since we know it isn’t always possible to spread out if you’re in a residential neighborhood, you should keep a minimum distance of 40 feet away for ground-based fireworks, like fountains, and a minimum of 75 feet for aerial varieties.

Light One Firework at a Time and Quickly Move Away
Never try to create your own fireworks display at home! Fireworks should be lit one at a time, and once you light them, you should use some hustle to get away before they go off.

NOTE: If you want to see an impressive fireworks show, most communities provide a free one on or around July 4 for residents to enjoy. These professionally managed shows are not only the most extravagant, they’re exceedingly rare culprits for injuries. You’ll get the best experience and the safest!

Don’t Relight the “Duds”
In any batch of fireworks, there’s bound to be a couple of “duds” that won’t go off. Never relight these–the heat and pressure from being ignited the first time could still render them combustible. Instead, if it’s a dud, wait 20 minutes after lighting it and soak it in a bucket of water.

Keep Plenty of Water Near the Firework-Lighting Area
We’re not talking bottled water, but buckets of it, and a charged hose if possible. This will allow you to put out any rogue sparks as quickly as possible.

Wear Safety Glasses
Aside from general skin burns, eye injuries are some of the most common fireworks-related incidents. To avoid irreversible damage to your eyesight, always wear safety glasses around the fireworks area, especially if you’re the one lighting them off.

Fireworks and Alcohol Never Mix
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Always have a few “designated drivers” on hand to light fireworks off safely and keep everyone back.

Keep Pets Inside and Secured
Did you know that more pets escape their homes and yards on July 4 than any other day of the year? Dogs and cats are easily startled by the loud booms and bright lights that accompany fireworks, which may make them inclined to panic and run. Also, with so many people going in and out of homes during Fourth of July get-togethers, they can slip out unnoticed rather easily. To keep your pet safe and happy, you should crate them or secure them in an off-limits room in your home.

How to Dispose of Fireworks
Once all the fireworks have been lit, your work isn’t quite over. Not only is it important for the environment to clean up all the debris, it’s also crucial for safety reasons. To dispose of fireworks safely, you’ll need to submerge them in a bucket of water overnight. In the morning, double-wrap the fireworks in plastic bags so they don’t dry out. Finally, place the fireworks in a larger trash bag and take them to your local waste facility.

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