Fireworks Safety Tips
Fireworks are a fun spectacle to celebrate special occasions, but can also be incredibly dangerous when handled improperly. Because of the risks fireworks can pose, June has been designated as Fireworks Safety Month. The Fourth of July is the most popular time for the purchase and use of fireworks in the US, which is why the month leading up to Independence Day is dedicated to raising fireworks safety awareness.
From serious burns and injuries to fires, fireworks pose a variety of dangers to our safety. Here are some fireworks safety tips to ensure you have a fun, incident-free Fourth of July celebrations.
First and foremost, make sure that you are purchasing legal fireworks from a reliable source. Legal fireworks have a label with safety information and the manufacturer’s name, while illegal fireworks are unlabeled. Banned illegal explosives include cherry bombs, M-80’s, and silver salutes.
Don’t mix alcohol and fireworks
Never operate fireworks if you have been drinking or using drugs. Fireworks are dangerous enough on their own, and adding impaired judgement and physical mobility to the mix is a recipe for disaster.
Adhere to directions and safety recommendations
Legal fireworks have safety information and performance descriptions, and you should always read the directions and cautionary information before igniting any fireworks. If you don’t know how to properly set up and ignite the fireworks, you are more likely to be injured or cause an incident. And remember to always use fireworks outdoors and away from buildings.
Don’t relight duds
You’ve probably seen it before- someone lights a firework, you wait in anticipation, but then, nothing happens. You’ve got a dud. When this happens, do not attempt to relight. Wait 20 minutes in case the dud goes off, then soak it in water and dispose of it.
Practice proper disposal
Once your fireworks have ignited and gone off, dispose of them by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can. Keep the trash can away from building and combustible materials until at least the next day.
Keep away from children
Children should never operate or ignite fireworks, and a responsible adult should always supervise any activity involving fireworks. Ensure that kids have adult supervision when using sparklers, which are a common source of burns and injuries for children.
Remember your pets
Like children, pets are also vulnerable in the presence of fireworks. Keep your pets away from fireworks and never bring them to display shows. The sound can spook even the most well behaved pets. If fireworks are going off near your home, put your pet in an enclosed, interior space. Lastly, be sure your pet has their identification tag on, in case they run off during a display.
Obey all local laws
Because of the danger posed by fireworks, many communities set local laws regarding fireworks to ensure the safety of residents and their properties. While South Carolina permits the sale of most consumer fireworks to state residents, local laws determine where and if fireworks can be shot. Check your city, county, or town’s laws and ordinances before shooting off your own fireworks.
By following these tips, you and your family can enjoy a safe Independence Day. And don’t fear if your town does not allow residents to set off fireworks, the Charleston area puts on some spectacular displays for residents to enjoy.