If the fireworks show is in your yard this July 4, your kids’ safety should be the top priority.
Most families celebrate by watching a local, professional show — supervised by firefighters. But if you’re starting the performance early with consumer fireworks, here are some tips:
Your fireworks might be legal, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. The U.S. Fire Administration reports thousands of fireworks-related injuries each summer. The biggest threat: firecrackers, followed by bottle rockets and sparklers, which burn at about 2,000 degrees. Even tiny sparklers — a favorite of little kids’ — can reach a staggering 1,800 degrees, quickly causing dangerous burns even with minor skin contact.
Fireworks are especially dangerous when used near power lines, so stay clear. Light fireworks only in open areas where no power lines can be seen, and call your cooperative immediately if your celebration gets tangled in an overhead wire.
Follow these additional safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Children should be spectators, not participants, in the show. Never give children fireworks or sparklers. Instead, keep kids entertained with safe alternatives. Buy inexpensive glow sticks or glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets that will stay lighted all night. Battery-operated fiber-optic sparklers will put on a colorful show year after year without the danger of fireworks.
- Read and carefully follow directions and warning labels. Most injuries result from improper use.
- Keep children and other spectators at least 20 feet away and not downwind from where the fireworks will be set off.
- Light fireworks only on a smooth, flat surface away from all flammable materials, including dry leaves.
- Never try to relight fireworks that don’t function.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire.