5 Firework Safety Tips to Enjoy July 4th at Home
It’s hard to deny the feeling of patriotism, excitement, and anticipation you feel in the days leading up to July 4th. Two of the things we’re sure you’re looking forward to most are the delicious food options and the spectacular fireworks to round out the day. The latter is the most prominent part of Independence Day, but they can also be one of the most dangerous if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, Merry Maids® has some safety tips that can help you and your family enjoy the festivities—outside of the emergency room.
What the Experts Have to Say About Fireworks
If you grew up in a rural part of the country, you’re likely very familiar with homemade or DIY fireworks and how dangerous they can be. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 180 people go to the emergency room every day in July because of factory-made and DIY firework-related injuries. In 2019, the commission received reports that an estimated 7,300 firework-related injuries were treated in the hospital, with 66% being males and 34% being females. The commission also reported that children 15 years and younger made up 36% of firework-related injuries.
Many experts recommend avoiding illegal fireworks, which can be identified if they don’t have the code UN-336 on the packaging. All consumer, retail market, and regulated fireworks must contain this code to be classified legal. Additionally, professional display fireworks handled by consumers and specific firecracker types, such as M-80s and quarter sticks, are considered illegal, according to a report by the CPSC.
Keep in mind that some states, including Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and Vermont, only allow sparklers and other novelty fireworks. However, Delaware, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are the only three states that ban all consumer fireworks.
The most vital thing to remember is to have fun—safely.
How to Avoid Firework-Related Injuries
Safety Tip 1: Never Experiment with Homemade or DIY fireworks
There are certain instances where DIYing is the better option to save time and money. In the case of fireworks, neither are worth a trip to the hospital. The chemicals involved in creating factory-made fireworks are extremely volatile, so imagine trying to do the same thing at home. Not a great or safe idea. DIY fireworks can lead to life-threatening injury and/or property damage and result in legal action against you. In fact, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), it’s illegal to make homemade fireworks in every single state in the U.S.
Safety Tip 2: Never Light Fireworks Inside or Take Them Indoors While Lit
Despite what early 2000s reality prank shows told us, lighting fireworks indoors is never advised or something to laugh about. Keeping fireworks outside is essential to ensuring the safety of you and those looking to enjoy a colorful light show. You should always avoid lighting fireworks inside an enclosed space, even if the specific type of pyrotechnics doesn’t launch into the air. Sparklers, snaps, firecrackers, and smoke bombs might seem harmless to light inside and then take outside, but these items can still do considerable harm if they accidentally catch clothing on fire. Sparklers, for instance, can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt bronze.
Always light your fireworks outside and keep them there to avoid any potential injuries or property damage.
Safety Tip 3: Always Have an Experienced Adult Present When Lighting Fireworks
Adults should always handle fireworks and firecrackers. At the very least, an adult should be present to light fireworks. Although, having an adult close to supervise firework usage isn’t always enough to avoid serious injury if something goes wrong. Someone who has experience with fireworks is an ideal person to have on hand when showing your friends and family a good time with a fireworks display.
Safety Tip 4: Keep a Hose or Bucket of Water Nearby
When you’re just looking to put on a homemade firework show for loved ones, the thought of something going wrong is likely the furthest thing from your mind. And while there’s the hope that everything goes smoothly, accidents can happen and upend a good time. Having a bucket of water or a hose at the ready to douse a rogue firework can potentially save lives and avoid any building or personal property destruction.
Safety Tip 5: Never Try to Relight Duds
Unfortunately, even if you purchase fireworks legally and follow the directions to a T, not every single one will invoke “oohs” and “aahs” from onlookers. In some cases, you’re going to find some “duds” in the bunch, but never try to relight these malfunctioning fireworks or pick them up. Instead, if there’s a delayed response or the spark on the fuse fizzles, pour water on it to make sure it’s completely extinguished.
After an evening of enjoying a spectacular fireworks display with the family, we want to make sure you can come back to a spotless home. Let Merry Maids® support all your cleaning and organizing efforts with ease.
Request a cleaning estimate today!