Red, white and kaboom is the motto for Fourth of July celebrations, but the National Council on Fireworks Safety has some tips to keep everyone safe and in one piece.
This year those expected to use backyard fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday is at an all-time high.
“Every year, safety is our first priority as families begin to plan their Fourth of July festivities. While fireworks are the most iconic and festive way to celebrate our country’s independence, there can be dangers if fireworks are used improperly,” said Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety in a statement released by the council.
“Consumers should purchase fireworks from a reputable company or fireworks stand, check local and state laws for fireworks use in your city, and check all instructions on fireworks packaging before use.”
Two years ago former University of South Florida football player Jason Pierre-Paul had an accident with fireworks on the Fourth of July resulting in the loss of one finger. The NCFS says there has also been an increase in injuries among youths using fireworks.
The NCFS also warns that alcohol and fireworks do not mix. It is advised to have one designated firework user who hasn’t consumed alcohol at the Fourth of July celebration.
Other great tips provided by the NCFS are:
1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
2. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
7. Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.
8. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
9. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
10. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
11. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or another water source nearby.
12. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
13. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
14. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
15. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
16. With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.