People have used fireworks to celebrate special occasions and holidays like the 4th of July for decades. Currently, all states in the U.S. allow for the sale of some types of fireworks during the year, except Massachusetts.
The types of fireworks available for sale vary by state; some only allow sparklers and other small ones while others have almost no restrictions. Check with your state and local laws before buying fireworks to avoid visits from law enforcement.
Risks with Fireworks
No matter what type you use, fireworks safety should be a top priority at all times. Every year, thousands of children and adults are injured in fireworks accidents, and the majority of the injuries could have been prevented. According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 10,000 people were injured by fireworks in 2014, with burns comprising over half of the injuries and a third of those injuries being to hands and fingers. Make sure you take a few common-sense precautions to ensure that everyone can enjoy those bright, colorful lights safely.
Make sure to follow these fireworks safety tips to minimize chances of injuries:
- Don’t let kids play with fireworks. Older children can have sparklers once they can understand to keep them away from their bodies and clothes. They may look pretty, but they can reach temperatures over 1,800˚F, hot enough to melt gold. Other types are too dangerous to be used by children.
- Buy fireworks that are legal. An easy way to tell is if the packages have labels with the manufacturer’s name and instructions. Illegal fireworks don’t have labels. Be sure to store all fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Never try to make your own fireworks. Even if you did well in high school chemistry, you won’t have access to high quality ingredients like the manufacturers do, so this is one time when DIY isn’t a good thing.
- Use fireworks outdoors and be sure to have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Keep others, especially children, far away when lighting fireworks. They can misfire or otherwise go off unexpectedly and a crowd will make an accident even more disastrous.
- Never, ever throw or point any type of fireworks at others. Set a good example for the children and don’t let adults do it.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hands or lean over them while lighting them. A premature explosion will damage your face and/or hands. Use eye protection to keep sparks, smoke, and dust out of your eyes.
- Don’t carry fireworks in your pockets. Friction can set them off, leaving you with serious burns.
- Aim fireworks away from homes and other structures and keep them away from easily flammable substances like brush and leaves. Some cities have been forced to cancel fireworks displays due to drought conditions and fears of wildfires from sparks. The National Fire Protection Association says that over 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks every year.
- Light only one firework at a time and never relight a dud. It might be slow to explode and go off right as you lean in to light it.
- Don’t pick up remnants immediately after the show. There may be unexploded fireworks that can go off at any time. Allow them to sit for a short time, and soak fireworks in water before disposal to ensure they won’t explode in the trash can.
- Many pets and people have a hard time with the noise associated with fireworks. Consider whether you really need fireworks for your event. If it’s the 4th of July, or you live near a municipal show, be sure to keep pets inside and have their collars on, in case they run outside. If you don’t have a tag with your contact info, write your name and number directly on the collar with a permanent marker. Offer games and movies that people can turn up to drown out the noise outside.
- If anyone is hurt by exploding fireworks, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t try to flush out anything from their eyes; it might cause further damage.
Following these fire safety precautions won’t affect the fireworks fun and will ensure that everyone has a good time at your gathering. You want them to have fun memories and not associate the day with pain and suffering.
Fire Damage Cleanup after Fireworks Accidents
When you need high quality fire damage restoration services in Lincoln, NE and surrounding areas, trust the experts at ServiceMaster of Lancaster County. They are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to disasters of all sizes because the damage will continue to spread.
Their technicians are fully trained in the latest restoration methods and receive continuing education so they can clean and restore all types of building materials and content, even items you thought were permanently damaged. Using professional restoration products and equipment, they will work through the property, cleaning items and building materials of soot and smoke. They can also provide any structural repairs as part of the fire restoration services.
Whether you had a kitchen fire or disaster that left your home or building in an unstable condition, you can count on the professionals of ServiceMaster to be there when you need it most. From stabilizing the property to providing repairs and working with your insurance provider, don’t hesitate to give them a call if you live near the Lincoln, NE area.