Did you know? In 2020 alone, 15,600 people were hospitalized due to firework-related injuries. Oftentimes, these mishaps could have been prevented with the right planning and safety measures. If you’re prepping to celebrate the Fourth or another summer festivity with a bang, keep these 13 firework safety tips top of mind.
- Read all labels before lighting. To promote safety from the start, carefully read the label of each firework variety before lighting it. The labels will tell you things like how to secure the firework, the safe radius distance to implement, the number of bursts or estimated duration, and more.
- Follow local laws. Laws vary from state to state. Find out what they are beforehand, especially if you’ll be vacationing while you celebrate.
- Don’t use M-Class explosive devices. M-80s, M-100s, and M-250s are all illegally produced with no quality control. Not only are they illegal to possess and use, they’re also very dangerous.
- Don’t let kids handle fireworks. Adults should be the only ones to handle, light, and move fireworks. Your kids will stay safer when they stay sitting a safe distance away. It’s recommended spectators stay at least 35 feet away for ground-based fireworks and at least 150 feet away for aerial fireworks.
- Keep pets in the house. Fireworks can injure or frighten your pets. To protect them from the loud noises that could spook them and send them running, keep them inside.
- Light fireworks outdoors, away from buildings, trees, and vehicles. Try to establish a 30-foot radius for ground-based fireworks and a 100-yard radius for aerial varieties (unless the packaging recommends otherwise). Avoid low-hanging trees, power lines, and any other hazards that could be in harm’s way. In addition, check local weather conditions and burn conditions in your area. If you’re experiencing a dry spell, lighting fireworks can lead to forest fires.
- Light one firework at a time. After lighting a firework, move away quickly. If the firework fails to launch, never lean over it or look into the base to see if you did it correctly. The firework could have a delayed launch that puts you in danger. Instead, keep your distance and approach the firework later to dispose of it safely.
- Avoid container fireworks. That includes bottle rockets and fireworks shot from cans, jars, metal containers, and glass containers. Such usage is dangerous and goes against the label’s recommendation. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Have an extinguishing source nearby. Keep a connected hose or a bucket of water at the ready in case of emergency. Know where your home’s fire extinguisher is and how to use it.
- Don’t give a dud another chance. As we mentioned above, don’t give dud fireworks another try. If one fails to light, give it space, dispose of it properly, and try another.
- Wear protective eyewear. Remember, you’re playing with fire. Play it safe by wearing protective goggles. In addition, avoid loose-fitting clothing that could catch flame and have every family member wear closed-toe shoes like tennis shoes so they don’t step on sparks or debris in the dark.
- Don’t DIY. Never attempt to make your own fireworks. It’s a recipe for disaster.
- Dispose of fireworks safely. At the end of the evening, soak used fireworks thoroughly before moving or disposing of them. If possible, keep canisters outdoors overnight and dispose of them in the morning to ensure no heat remains inside.
Now that you’ve upped your protection with these firework safety tips, up your homeowners protection, too. Keep your home or vacation home covered through every summer event with the right homeowners insurance. Not sure you have what you need? Talk to one of our local, independent agents today.