It’s hard to picture July 4th without fireworks. Whether you’re attending a fireworks event organized by your city or township or putting on a show of your own, when most of us think of Fourth of July festivities, we think of fireworks. However, given the large number of firework-related injuries hospitals deal with every July 4th, you’d be wise to make safety your foremost priority this Independence Day. A little bit of forethought and a willingness to amend unsafe behaviors can prevent you and the people you care about from incurring injuries – or worse – this July 4th. In the interest of practicing fireworks safety this Independence Day, take the following pointers to heart.
Don’t Allow Children to Set Off Fireworks
While not allowing children to set off fireworks may seem like a no-brainer, a large percentage of firework injuries are suffered by kids. Fireworks hold an undeniable appeal for many children. They’re colorful, they’re loud and they represent something out of the ordinary. As such, it’s only natural for them to want to play an active role in any firework displays you have planned for the Fourth. No matter how nicely your kids ask or how careful they promise to be, you must never allow them to operate fireworks. One small error in judgment can land a child in the hospital – or worse. Although some kids are likely to give their parents grief over this decision, it’s important that adults not give in. Furthermore, even if you’re not a parent, any July 4th gathering you host should have a strict policy against kids handling fireworks.
Of course, as any seasoned parent can attest, kids don’t always have the best track record when it comes to listening. So, even if you explicitly forbid them from playing with fireworks, there’s a chance they may try going against your wishes. To help nip a potential safety hazard in the bud, take care to store any fireworks you purchase in locations that your children will have trouble finding and accessing. Additionally, any area used for firework storage should be cool and dry.
Don’t Use Fireworks Under the Influence
Fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. Although drinking may be commonplace at many barbecues and Fourth of July gatherings, no one in charge of setting off fireworks should be allowed to consume alcohol prior to doing so. Everyone’s tolerance levels are different, and even a little bit of alcohol can impair judgment – which can prove disastrous when fireworks are involved. This isn’t to say that alcohol can’t be served and consumed at your Independence Day shindigs, but whoever’s tasked with setting off fireworks should be required to stay dry throughout the event.
Don’t Attempt to Re-light or Re-ignite Fireworks
As disappointing as it may be, some fireworks are duds. In some cases, this is due to manufacturing errors. Other times, improper storage is to blame. However, regardless of why fireworks fail to ignite as intended, it is imperative that you never attempt to re-ignite them. For maximum safety, make a point of keeping your distance from any firework that’s been lit, regardless of whether it appears to be a dud. Additionally, to stave off any safety hazards stemming from delayed ignition, take care to spray any apparent duds with a hose until they’re sufficiently soaked. If a hose is unavailable, make sure to keep a bucket of water, a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher within easy reach. By extension, even successfully ignited fireworks will need to be properly doused before being disposed of.
Only Purchase Fireworks from Reliable Sources
When shopping around for fireworks, make a point of limiting your options to people and businesses that you trust. Furthermore, abstain from buying from companies whose products are known to be unsafe. Anyone who appreciates convenience will be pleased to learn that there are numerous ways to buy fireworks online.