Fireworks are a spectacle that most people love. They can also be incredibly dangerous. At AAA Ohio Auto Club, we want your holiday to be both fun and safe. So, how can you protect yourself, others, and your property when using fireworks? Follow these fireworks safety tips.
What are the Dangers of Fireworks?
When used incorrectly, fireworks can cause both bodily injury and property damage. Young adults and children tend to incur more injuries and burns than other demographics, with eyes and hands most often affected by fireworks. Additionally, thousands of property, vehicle and outdoor fires are started each year from firework misuse.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Avoid using consumer fireworks. Attend public displays conducted by professionals instead.
- If you do use consumer fireworks, always check with your local police department to see what is and is not allowed. Most fireworks are illegal for home use in many areas.
- Always follow instructions.
- Light one firework at a time.
- Don’t light fireworks in glass or metal containers.
- Never attempt to re-light “duds.”
- Never make homemade fireworks.
- Douse fireworks with a hose or bucket of water after use.
Fireworks Safety: Protecting Yourself & Others
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand while lighting and move away from an ignited firework as quickly as possible. They can backfire or shoot in the wrong direction, resulting in injury.
- Never let children handle, light, or even near fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns. Kids under the age of 15 account for approximately 40% of fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
- Don’t let children pick up fireworks pieces after use. They can be hot or even still ignited and might explode.
- Never point a firework at someone, even if it is unlit.
- Keep your pets in mind. Animals can become quickly and easily frightened by fireworks. Keep them inside to keep them safe and prevent them from running away.
Protecting Your Home from Firework Damage
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your house is to simply not use fireworks at home.
- If you choose to light fireworks, always use them outdoors. Light them in a safe area, away from structures, vehicles, etc.
- Remember, fireworks can cause grass fires and other types of blazes. Make sure you light fireworks away from combustible areas and materials. Always keep a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of emergency.
- Look out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. Trimming vegetation to keep it away from your home is a good idea anyway, but it could also save you from a catastrophic fire on the Fourth of July.
- Finally, if you won’t be home on the holiday, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks.
With some common sense and planning, the Fourth of July can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re staying at home or hitting the road, we hope you have a wonderful and safe time celebrating the holiday!