Once a year, the warm sun shines down onto my skin while the smells of grilled food fill the air with that savory BBQ aroma. I can hear my family cheer during the bean-bag-toss as I run through the sprinklers with my daughter. I smell of bug spray and sun block. We all begin to settle down in the evening as the sun sets and we huddle together to light them. After all, nothing says July 4th in America like fireworks!
Fireworks are extremely accessible on the 4th of July; they are literally everywhere. Every year the fireworks get bigger, louder and more expensive. Moreover, while fireworks can be fun, we have to remember they are extremely dangerous. When celebrating this year, try to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Children should never play with fireworks. Remember, as innocent as sparklers appear, they often burn up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt gold!
- Fireworks should only be used while under the direct supervision of an adult.
- Only use legal fireworks. Laws vary from state to state in terms of what fireworks can be sold and distributed. Check with your state’s website for their fireworks guidelines if you have any questions.
- Never construct your own fireworks. It’s not thrifty, it’s not funny… it’s an accident waiting to happen.
- Do not hold any fireworks when lighting them. You’re beginning the day with ten fingers, you may as well end the day with ten fingers.
- Wear some kind of eye protection. Fireworks, after all, are explosive.
- Be conscious of the clothing you have on when lighting fireworks. That being said, never light fireworks while naked. Some burns aren’t worth explaining.
- Don’t point fireworks at other people or animals. Roman Candles are not grenade launchers, folks.
- Keep fireworks away from houses, trees and dry grass when lighting.
- Never re-light a dud. There can be an explosive delay in some of them.
- Soak all burned up fireworks in water before discarding.
- Do you have a pet? Take them into consideration before choosing where to light fireworks. Dog and cats have sensitive ears and the loud bangs can be damaging to their hearing.
Fireworks are part of the American scenery during the 4th of July. It’s a holiday Americans celebrate with family and friends and it’s meant to be fun and relaxing. These tips are common sense. Do not let something happen to someone you love this 4th of July just because a few simple safety rules were not followed. Fireworks are fun, but more importantly, fireworks are dangerous.
Mike Kinney has sustained some minor firework-related injuries over the years, and while he’s not a professional by any means, he does write for a company that sells the gear you need to at least look like a firefighter. We would recommend following this common sense advice and play it safe this Fourth of July.