Article at a Glance
The fourth of July is almost here and it is time to hone up on your firework safety facts. This quick “pop” quiz should help you get up to snuff.
A bucket of water, a hose, and plenty of open space. Having water nearby can be a real lifesaver if there is an accident. You will also want to spray any used fireworks with a hose and let them soak in a bucket of water before throwing them away. Be sure to properly dispose of all fireworks.
Fireworks can sometimes backfire or behave unexpectedly, so don’t light fireworks around other people, by homes, next to dry brush or other flammable material, or indoors.
Don’t ever light a firework while holding it in your hand—46% of firework injuries involve the hands and fingers. Instead, place it on the ground and light it by reaching out at arm’s length. After it is ignited, quickly move away to a safe distance. Instead of matches, use a long-handled lighter. They are easier to light and allow your hands to be a little further away from the fireworks.
If a firework is a dud, don’t try to re-light it. Wait at least 20 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water to soak.
It is a good idea to wear safety glasses when using fireworks and don’t ever carry fireworks in your pocket.
Any time you use explosives, even in small quantities, there is a risk of injury. That is why many families decide to enjoy professional fireworks at community events. Not only are they free, but they are also much more spectacular.
Only adults should be allowed to light or handle fireworks. They are not toys, even the ones that may appear to be harmless. Don’t let your kids pick up used fireworks—they may reignite or still be hot.
Sparklers cause more injuries than any other type of firework. Did you know that they can get up to 2,000˚F? That is as hot as a blowtorch! Use caution when lighting sparklers and stand at least six feet away from other people. Be sure to only use them while standing and to hold the sparkler away from your body. Children under 12 years old should not be allowed to use sparklers, and older children should only use them with adult supervision.
In Utah, it is only legal to light fireworks that were purchased in Utah. Only buy fireworks from reputable dealers. Don’t use professional-grade, homemade, altered, or illegal fireworks.
Before lighting any fireworks, check your local restrictions to make sure it is legal in your area and to find out when you are allowed to light them.
Fireworks Information Center (cpsc.gov)
National Safety Council (nsc.org)
Fireworks Safety (kidshealth.org)
State Fire Marshal – Fireworks Safety