Firework Safety Tips For The Fourth Of July

Fireworks are probably the first things that come to mind when you think about the Fourth of July. But, if you're hoping to keep all of your limbs and both of your eyeballs, firework safety should be a close second.

I'll agree, there's something really patriotic about seeing those explosions of bright colors up in the night sky. It can be so awe-inspiring, in fact, that you can easily forget how dangerous these Fourth of July staples can be. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 230 people visit the emergency room each day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July holiday. Sparklers — another popular favorite, especially among kids — burn at an average of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hot enough to melt some metals!

Admittedly, I've never partaken in lighting off fireworks myself. I mean, of course I've watched fireworks displays. But, I was raised by a dad who survived a pretty dramatic apartment fire. So, he has pretty much always been like Smokey Bear when it comes to fire safety.

So, today I'm taking a page from my dad's book and sharing some safety tips for dealing with fireworks. Put these to good use this Fourth of July holiday so that you can save yourself a trip to the ER.

1. Know the law

Before lighting anything on fire, it's important to know your local laws regarding fireworks. Plus, you need to determine if fireworks are even legal in your state.

2. Protect yourself

Protect your eyeballs by always wearing safety glasses when lighting fireworks. Also, stand at a safe distance after lighting a firework, and never put your body over a firework while lighting it. But, I sure hope that you knew that part already.

3. Keep emergency equipment nearby

Be prepared and keep a bucket of water and a charged hose nearby. You'll be able to jump on any fires or mishaps right away.

4. Be responsible with alcohol

As you might guess, booze and explosives can be an incredibly dangerous combination. So, be smart and save the hard partying for after you're done with the fireworks.

5. Be informed about your fireworks

Before jumping into your Fourth of July festivities, take a little time to read up on your fireworks. Check out the cautionary labels as well as the performance descriptions so that you know what to expect when lighting them.

6. Find a safe spot for lighting them

Obviously, you want to light fireworks outdoors. But, it's best to find a clear area away from any buildings or cars.

7. Dispose of them properly

Once you've had your fun, you need to ensure that you're disposing of fireworks properly. When your fireworks show is finished, completely wet the used fireworks down and then place them in a metal trash can. Leave the trash can away from any combustible materials or buildings until the next day.

8. Attend a fireworks display

The National Fire Protection Association is actually against the use of commercial fireworks in general. Instead, they suggest that you attend your local fireworks show and leave the dangerous stuff to the professionals.

Images: Kev Lewis/Flickr; Giphy (8)