sparkler-839806_1920Fireworks are to the 4th of July what champagne is to New Year’s Eve — you can’t have one without the other.

However, if you’re not watching a professional show from the bleachers or your balcony and are planning to fire off your own — take heed — fireworks are dangerous (even if they’re small)!

Did you know: according to the latest U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission report on fireworks injuries, more than 11,000 injuries occurred in 2016, with 1 in 6 fireworks injuries damaging the eyes and more than 30 percent of injuries involving children. 

Celebrate with Firework Safety

Fireworks are hot. In fact, sparklers burn at a temperature of around 2,000 °F — enough to cause third-degree burns. So if you’re intent on hosting your own fireworks display, here are some essential safety tips to prevent you or your loved ones from taking a trip to the emergency room:

  • Obey all local laws
  • Get to know your fireworks – read all labels, warnings, and instructions before igniting
  • A responsible adult should always supervise all firework activities
  • Never give fireworks to children
  • Do not drink and light! Save your alcohol for after the display
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Light one firework at a time
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait twenty minutes and then soak it in water
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks

When lighting sparklers, only light them outdoors in a clear open space away from people, buildings, and vehicles. And keep a bucket of water close at hand. Always point the sparkler away from your face and others.

For larger at home fireworks, only an adult who has read and understood the safety instructions should handle and light these fireworks. Use longer fuses and keep distance between people and the fireworks.

To throw out used fireworks, wet them down with a hose and put in a metal trash can away from any buildings or combustible materials.

Protect Your Pets!

You wouldn’t want something bad to happen to your treasured animal companions. When planning a fireworks outing, the best policy is to leave your pets at home inside. Don’t bring them to a fireworks display, even a small one.

And if fireworks are happening near your home, put your pet in a safe, quiet room to avoid exposing them to loud sounds. Make sure your pet has an ID tag, in case it runs off in shock during a fireworks display. Our pets depend on us for their security and well being.

The 4th of July is a wonderful time to be with family, friends, and community. Enjoy, but remember: the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional display put on by your city or community.