The Fourth of July is upon us! Time to crack out American flag-themed T-shirts and sheet cakes, relax in the sun, eat one too many grilled meats and of course—enjoy a good fireworks display.
If you’re planning to put on your own pyrotechnics show this year, be aware that it’s not as straightforward as lighting a campfire. Each Fourth of July, thousands of people are hospitalized around the country due to amateur fireworks accidents—and such injuries can be devastating.
Don’t assume you’re immune. Taking a little extra time to learn about fireworks safety can make or break your holiday experience. In today’s post, we provide some basic guidelines to follow:
- Prepare yourself: To maximize your safety while operating fireworks, always wear protective goggles. Never light fireworks if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- Prepare the area: Find an open area clear of flammable materials. Have a couple buckets of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher on hand—in case of emergency.
- Protect others: When lighting fireworks, always maintain a safe distance from others. Never give fireworks to children. Always aim fireworks away from people, animals or buildings.
- Ignite properly: Light one firework at a time. Never try to light the same firework more than once. If a firework doesn’t light or doesn’t ignite completely, do not re-try.
- Discard safely: After the fireworks show is over, proper disposal is critical. Collect any unused or “dud” fireworks and put them in a bucket of water overnight. In the morning, wrap them in two layers of plastic while they’re still wet—so that they don’t dry out. Place in the garbage.
Don’t risk unnecessary tragedy this Fourth of July. Following the above safety precautions is an effective way to keep your holiday happy.