8 Ways to Stay Safe with Fireworks

Overview

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The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that between June 21 and July 21, 2013, an average of 240 people a day went to the ER for injuries caused by fireworks. Although the safest choice is to enjoy public fireworks displays operated by professionals, following safety guidelines -- including these from the Consumer Products Safety Commission -- can help prevent accidents if you choose to put on your own fireworks show.

Buy Legal Fireworks

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Purchase only legal fireworks and use them as intended. Do not buy devices in plain paper wrappings. These are not intended for consumer use and are often used in commercial displays operated by professionals. Never twist fuses together or alter devices in any way.

Be Prepared

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Keep a garden hose and a bucket of water close by in case of emergencies.

Stand Back

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Stand to the side of a device as you light it. Never place any part of your body directly over the fuse, and only light one fuse at a time. Immediately back away to a safe distance once the fuse is lit, and keep spectators well away from the firing zone at all times.

Beware of Sparklers

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Sparklers burn at almost 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Restrict their use to children 12 and older and supervise carefully.

Douse Duds

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Leave duds undisturbed for 20 minutes, then soak them in water for 30 minutes before carefully discarding them. Never try to relight a device that doesn’t ignite the first time.

Store Fireworks Safely

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Store fireworks in a cool, dry place far away from flammable materials and the firing area. Set off fireworks in an open area without trees, dry grass or leaves.

Ignite Carefully

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Designate one person to set off the fireworks. Make sure that person wears safety glasses and avoids alcohol.

Obey All Local Laws

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Review local regulations before buying or using fireworks. As of June 2011, all consumer fireworks are banned in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Only novelty devices are legal in Arizona.