The Fourth of July is a time to enjoy fireworks in the company of family and friends. The first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off by John Adams in 1777. Since then, the nation has celebrated this holiday by staging pyrotechnic extravaganza shows with live music and family fun, or just by lighting smaller displays at home. Explorer Richard Byrd even set off fireworks to salute the USA in Antarctica on a day that was comparatively warm for that region (- 30°F)!
The thrill of fireworks could be ruined by unexpected explosions and injuries. No one wants the drama of dealing with an accident. Here's our guide on how to stay safe around fireworks.
Follow these safety tips when using fireworks to avoid accidents:
- Before using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your local area.
- Read the label and performance description before igniting the fireworks.
- Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the transportation of fireworks in your luggage.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket, or shoot them into metal/glass containers.
- Have a responsible adult supervise all fireworks activities. Do not allow children to play with fireworks.
- Don’t take your pet to a public fireworks event: they can be traumatized by noise. Make sure your pets have an ID tag/microchip, in case they escape.
- Use fireworks only outdoors, and keep them away from vehicles and buildings. Do not point the fireworks at a person, an animal, or a structure.
- Put on FR clothes, safety glasses and safety gloves before shooting fireworks. Most fireworks-related injuries involve hands and fingers (46%), and eyes (17%).
- Always have a water hose and a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Light one firework at a time and then back up to a safe distance. Never try to re-light a firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Dispose of fireworks by placing them in a metal trash can.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department.
When you follow safety rules, fireworks are a wonderful way to add fun and excitement to your family gatherings.
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