This weekend an estimated 7,000 people will be treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. Wow! We'd rather you not be one of them, so here are some basic fireworks safety tips ...
Before you begin, make sure you have:
- A bucket of water or hose. Water is important for cooling off spent sparklers, fully extinguishing fireworks, and in case of fire.
- A clear, flat area away from houses, spectators, leaves, and flammable materials.
- Closed-toed shoes.
- Safety glasses for the person igniting the fireworks.
- While many consider sparklers to be safe, it's important to remember that you are, in fact, playing with fire: Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees F, and caused an estimated 800 injuries in 2008.
- Don't allow children under the age of 12 to handle sparklers.
- Show older children how to hold sparklers at arm's length, and don't let them run with or wave the sparklers.
- Stand at least six feet away from another person while using sparklers.
- To hand a sparkler to another person, give him or her an unlit sparkler and then light it.
- Don't hold a child in your arms while holding a sparkler.
- Drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water.
Other Fireworks Tips
- Always read and follow the directions.
- Never relight a failed firework — wait 20 minutes before placing it in a bucket of water.
- Onlookers must keep a safe distance from the person igniting the fireworks.
- Children should not play with or ignite fireworks.