Fourth of July Firework Safety Tips

Using consumer fireworks on our nation's birthday is as traditional as cookouts and parades. And it is equally safe if a few common sense rules are followed, says Dr. John Steinberg, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Fireworks Safety. But he notes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 5,900 fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July season in 2009.

These injuries would not have occurred if there had been close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense fireworks tips in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season:

  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges Americans to follow common sense safety rules this Fourth of July in their holiday celebrations.

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