Fireworks can be dangerous and cause burns or eye injuries in both kids and adults. While kids might want to play with fireworks, the best way to prevent serious injuries from fireworks is to not use them at home — period. During the summer, there are many public fireworks displays that families can attend safely, which still allows kids to watch and enjoy fireworks without any danger or harm.
In some states, fireworks are not legal. Other states allow you to purchase fireworks, but it’s still important to know the safe ways to use fireworks. Before purchasing fireworks, check with your local police department first.
If fireworks are legal where you live, here are more safety tips to be mindful of when using fireworks:
- Children should never play with fireworks
Kids should definitely not play with fireworks and things like firecrackers, rockets and sparklers are just too dangerous. Sparklers can reach 1800°F to 3000°F — temperatures hot enough to melt gold.
- Buy only legal fireworks and do not make your own
Legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks, like ones that are sometimes called an M-80, M100, blockbuster or quarterpounder, were banned in 1966 — but these explosives still account for many fireworks injuries.
- Always use fireworks outside
If you are using fireworks, have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Fireworks can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Point fireworks away from homes and keep them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand and wear some sort of eye protection when setting off fireworks. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket, as friction could set them off. Light one firework at a time and never relight a dud. Soak all fireworks in water before throwing them in a trash can.
- Be aware of fires and stay clear of old fireworks
According to the National Fire Protection Association, local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year. After a fireworks event, don’t let kids pick up pieces of firework, which might still be ignited and can explode at any time. Alert the fire department if you find old fireworks in a park, on a hike, or in another public area.
- Think about your pet when setting off fireworks
Animals have sensitive ears and can get very frightened or scared when they hear fireworks being set off. Especially on the Fourth of July, keep pets indoors so that they don’t run loose or get injured.