Families celebrate many American traditions during the summer. Fireworks is one tradition that can turn a happy celebration into a painful one if someone is injured. If handled incorrectly, fireworks can cause burns and serious eye injuries in children and adults. The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend your local public display of fireworks and let the professionals do the lighting.
Lighting fireworks at home isn’t legal in some areas, so if you decide to use them, be sure to find out the law in your area. Keep in mind that even when a state allows fireworks, some cities don’t allow them within city limits. In Nebraska, class C fireworks, which include many popular fireworks, are legal.
If you decide to use fireworks at home, keep the following safety tips in mind.
- Do not allow young children to use fireworks. Sparklers, considered by many to be safe, can reach 2000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt gold. If you allow children to use them, make sure they keep them outside and away from their face.
- Buy only legal fireworks. Legal fireworks will have a manufacturer label with directions. Illegal ones are unlabeled.
- Never, ever make your own fireworks.
- Use fireworks outside. Have a bucket of water available for emergencies and to pour on fireworks that don’t go off.
- Don’t try to relight or handle fireworks that don’t go off. Soak them with water. Throw them away correctly.
- Make sure other people are out of the way when lighting fireworks. Fireworks have been known to backfire or go off in the wrong direction.
- Never point a firework at someone, even in a joking manner.
- Light fireworks in a clear area, not near houses or buildings. Also keep them away from brush, leaves, and flammable materials.
- Do not have your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Keep unused fireworks away from the area where you are lighting them.
- Never light fireworks in any type of container—glass, metal, or plastic.
- Don’t let your children pick up fireworks after they have been ignited. Some may still be smoldering and can explode at any time.
- Soak all used fireworks with water prior to disposing of them in a trash receptacle.
- Remember your pet. They have very sensitive ears and can get stressed out by the loud noises of fireworks. If possible, keep your pets inside.
A lot of tips, but taking safety precautions will increase your chances of having a “no bummer summer!”