It’s summer again and that means the July 4th holiday is just around the corner. Besides hosting a barbecue, lighting off fireworks is one of the classic and most fun ways to celebrate Independence Day. While fireworks are typically always fun and entertaining to watch, they can pose a very real danger if used improperly or without taking certain precautions. Fireworks are also one of the top causes of wildfires which can devastate the land and even put many lives in danger. So, while there are certain risks to celebrating with fireworks, there comes the responsibility of making sure we are doing so in a safe manner. Let’s go over some of the top recommended safety tips that you can do for your 4th of July celebration this year.
That’s right, buckets plural. It helps to have at least two buckets of water on hand to quickly extinguish a firework that has caught fire or if a small patch of grass has been caught on fire as well. Sometimes a single bucket won’t be enough or you could accidentally spill or tip one. It also helps to have a garden hose as a backup!
In addition to your emergency buckets, it helps to have a third bucket that is solely for dunking used fireworks into after they have finished their job. Sometimes, excess powder or cinders may ignite after the firework has gone off initially and that can lead to an unexpected fire cropping up rather quickly. You can help prevent dangerous flare ups by fully submerging each firework into a bucket of water after each go around.
One of the ways that wildfires or house fires can get started by fireworks is by leaving a used firework where it landed after going off. If you are using things like bottle rockets or other aerial fireworks, make sure that you retrieve and can account for all of them before you pack things in. A bottle rocket left on somebody’s roof can smolder and ignite causing a house fire hours later. Try to account for all of your fireworks that you’ve set off as you are packing up!
Sometimes a fuse won’t work or something else goes wrong inside of a firework and it just won’t go off after you light it. These are called dud fireworks and they can be dangerous if not taken care of properly. Never attempt to re-light a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak that firework in water before throwing it away. Do not throw duds into a fire pit or BBQ pit either!
We all love a good bargain, but sometimes saving a few dollars on fireworks just isn’t worth the risk of injury or fire. Make sure that your fireworks come from a licensed and reputable dealer that gets their products from a legal source. Counterfeit or black market fireworks aren’t typically up to code in their safety standards and may pose a serious risk to you or a loved one.
Most of all, have fun! If you keep these simple guidelines in mind, you can have a safe and fun time this year while still getting to light off some awesome fireworks! Have fun and stay safe out there.