Backyard fireworks displays have long been a key part of many holiday celebrations. Yet fireworks that are not purchased from a trustworthy, responsible source, as well as those that are mishandled, can be dangerous. To guard against these risks, some states and local jurisdictions have passed ordinances restricting the types of fireworks that consumers may purchase. In the most strictly regulated areas, you may be limited to what are dubbed “safe and sane” fireworks.


What Are “Safe and Sane” Fireworks?

If you are in the market for “safe and sane” fireworks, it is important to understand that the precise definition varies between jurisdictions. In general, though, the terminology refers to all fireworks and effects that are neither projectile nor explosive—in other words, nothing that blows up or leaves the ground. This includes ground spinners, pinwheels, crackling items, sparklers, fountains, and most novelty products.

Aerial fireworks such as rockets, aerial spinners, and Roman candles are expressly excluded from the “safe and sane” designation. Of course, certain fireworks including M-80s and cherry bombs are prohibited by federal law. Not only are they not “safe and sane,” but they are notably dangerous.

What Is the Meaning Behind “Safe and Sane” Fireworks?

Prior to the 1960s, consumer fireworks tended to be big, loud, and highly volatile. A new type of fireworks debuted during that decade, focusing on smaller ground effects and less explosiveness. These fireworks were less likely to cause property damage or injuries than their predecessors, so they were dubbed “safe and sane.”

Today, each state has its own labeling guidelines for “safe and sane” fireworks. Although the included fireworks are generally similar, some items such as firecrackers may be included in the guidelines for some states but excluded by others.

Staying Safe with “Safe and Sane” Fireworks

A key problem with “safe and sane” fireworks is that the labeling can lure consumers into a false sense of security. Although these items are, overall, less risky than bigger and more powerful fireworks, they can still be dangerous when misused.

A notable example of this is the sparkler, lit by legions of kids and adults at virtually any celebration. When used carefully, sparklers are great fun. But they can burn at temperatures hot enough to melt glass. Parents need to make sure that their kids have long hair tied back, are wearing non-flammable clothing without draping sleeves, and are informed of the need to douse used sparklers in water before throwing them away.

Here are some basic safety tips for “safe and sane” fireworks:

Know your state and local regulations
Keep a bucket of water nearby
Only light one firework at a time
Do not relight duds
Read all the instructions before lighting any new type of firework
Only light fireworks outdoors
Closely supervise children
Never light fireworks in a metal or glass container, or in your hand
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or purse
Only purchase fireworks from a reputable supplier
Never point or throw a firework at any person, animal, or object
Douse spent fireworks in water before disposal

“Safe and sane” fireworks can be a fun way to celebrate in jurisdictions that do not allow more traditional fireworks. However, it remains just as important as ever to act in a responsible manner when using these fireworks. Make sure you understand what you are getting, treat each firework with respect for the possible dangers, and always supervise children. This will help to ensure that your celebration is truly “safe and sane.”

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!