Fireworks are a fun and exciting family tradition, but all too often, tragedy strikes. More than 11,000 injuries and 50,000 fires are attributed to fireworks displays each year. Fortunately, nearly all fireworks accidents can be prevented by following a few simple safety tips. Here are 5 ways to keep your kids safe around fireworks.
1. Know the Law
The first step towards staying safe is to become familiar with federal, state, and local ordinances regarding fireworks. Illegal fireworks, since they are entirely unregulated, can be extremely dangerous. Choose only consumer fireworks, labeled 1.4G and sometimes referred to as Class C. Large, dangerous fireworks such as Cherry Bombs and M80s have been banned in the United States since the 1960s. They are sometimes permitted with a federal explosives license for a designated purpose, but using them as consumer fireworks is never allowed. Many states and local areas have additional restrictions. Select only fireworks that are legal in your area, and buy them only from a trustworthy supplier.
2. Understand Your Fireworks
Not all fireworks are created equal. Some stay low to the ground, while others launch high into the air. Some have multiple effects. Always talk to your fireworks supplier and carefully read each package to learn exactly what to expect from each one. Make sure you clear a bigger safety radius than you anticipate needing, as Murphy’s law is sure to apply at some point during your fireworks show.
3. Clear the Area
Clear out a designated safety range around the place you plan to launch fireworks. Put up a visible barrier, and have your kids practice staying well away from it. Clear the area of any tripping hazards or flammable materials, and wet down the space if the weather has recently been dry. Choose a sober adult or teenager as the designated fireworks launcher, and make sure that person looks around to ensure that the safety range is completely clear before lighting each firework.
4. Remember the Basics
Most fireworks injuries occur when someone forgets basic safety rules. Never light more than one firework at a time or attempt to relight a dud. Keep a close eye on your children to ensure that they don’t pick up or play with fireworks debris. Keep a close eye on teens when they are lighting fireworks. Always soak used fireworks and debris in water prior to disposal, and keep a fire extinguisher rated for chemical fires close at hand.
5. Closely Monitor Sparklers
Although sparklers are a time-honored tradition, they can be deceptively dangerous. Many sparklers burn at close to 2000 F, hotter than the temperature needed to melt glass, and almost hot enough to melt gold. Dress your kids in non-flammable clothing without any draping fabric and tie back long hair. Have them practice holding and maneuvering a sparkler before actually lighting it. Thoroughly soak used sparklers in water.
Although fireworks have been a key part of family celebrations for millennia, they can be dangerous. To keep your kids safe, just follow the 5 simple tips above.
At Dynamite Fireworks, we don’t only sell top-quality, name-brand fireworks. We also provide the information you need to know to use them responsibly, legally, and safely. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (219) 937-4090. We look forward to becoming your one-stop shop for all your fireworks needs!