The 4th of July and fireworks go hand in hand. Fireworks are fun, dazzling, and beautiful when done properly, but they are also dangerous. According the the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, 65% of all fireworks accidents happen in the month of July. Last year, four people were killed and 9,600 injured in fireworks-related accidents. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe and sound this 4th of July.
1) Choose your Launch Site wisely. Make sure you have a flat, stable surface to launch from. Make sure there are no trees overhead. Avoid firing from wooden structures. If you are firing from grass or ground, lay down some ply wood and have some bricks to stabilize artillery shell tubes.
2) Prepare your Launch Site. Hose down the area around where you will be firing the fireworks. If you’re only setting off fireworks that stay on the ground, spray down the ground about 30 feet around your Launch Site.
3) Keep a hose handy. In case of a fire, keep a water hose close by. If it won’t reach, then have a bucket of water to douse any sparks or flames.
4) Be aware of how windy it is. If the wind picks up or blows in the wrong direction, wait for it to die down before setting off the next round. All it takes is one spark to fall in the wrong place to start a fire.
5) Designate one adult to watch for stray sparks. If something does catch fire, you should have at least one person keeping an eye on the ground so sparks can be extinguished. If everyone is looking UP, you may not notice.
6) Don’t get overconfident. Even SMALL firecrackers can start a fire or seriously hurt someone.
7) Know the law. Just about every city and town prohibits shooting fireworks with in city limits. This means if you want to fire off your own fireworks, you’ll have to drive into an unincorporated area. For most of us in the Metroplex, this might mean a 30 minute drive. Don’t risk shooting off fireworks in your neighborhood.
A lot of this is common sense, but it bears repeating. Stay safe this 4th of July!!