Fourth of July Fireworks Safety
Help keep your holiday safe by handling fireworks with care.
Fourth of July festivities aren’t complete without fireworks. But fireworks can cause injury if they’re not used with caution. Commercially-sold fireworks are extremely hot and can be almost as powerful as professional-grade fireworks, which makes them a potential threat to personal safety as well as property. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 280 people visit emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries — mostly to the head or hands — each day in July. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fireworks sparked over 18,000 fires in 2017.
To stay safe this holiday, the NFPA recommends avoiding consumer or at-home fireworks altogether — opt instead to observe professionally operated fireworks displays. If fireworks are a must-have at your celebration, however, here are some safety tips to follow:
- Allow only adults to handle fireworks.
- Light fireworks in an open area, away from anything flammable, and never light fireworks in a metal container such as a can.
- Don’t assume small fireworks are safer. Sparklers burn at 2,000°F and caused the majority of fireworks injuries in 2017, according to the CPSC.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby when you light fireworks. Soak used fireworks and sparklers in the water when you’re finished with them.
- Avoid alcohol consumption when lighting fireworks. Alcohol impairs your judgment and coordination — and you need both to handle fireworks safely.
- Don’t try to relight faulty fireworks.
- Don’t carry fireworks in a pocket.
- Follow the directions exactly as listed on the packaging. Some fireworks, such as rockets, are relatively safe when launched in the intended direction (upward). However, users sometimes disregard directions and shoot rockets horizontally or at other people, which can cause serious injury.
- Only buy fireworks from a legal and reputable source. Don’t try to make your own fireworks at home.
Click here for more holiday safety tips from MetLife.