With the thrill of celebrating Independence Day, it’s important to keep in mind that fireworks can be dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than twice as many fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year in the United States and nearly 90 percent of emergency room fireworks injuries involve fireworks consumers are permitted to use. The National Safety Council advises that the best way to safely enjoy the Fourth of July is to watch a public fireworks display administered by professionals.
When using fireworks, it is critical to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. The Sacramento Fire Department offers the following safety tips:
Use only “Safe and Sane” fireworks, purchased from a licensed booth and bearing the State Fire Marshal seal.
Read and follow all fireworks label directions. Used improperly, fireworks can be dangerous
Light only one firework at a time, outdoors, in a clear and open space. Always maintain a safe distance from people, structures, vehicles, and any flammable materials.
Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire or to fully extinguish a malfunctioning firework. Never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
Children should be closely supervised around fireworks. Never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks. According to the NFPA, the tip of a sparkler burns at more than 1200 degrees! Glow sticks are a safer alternative.
Animals tend to become frightened by the lights and sounds of fireworks. Keep animals in a safe and secure location, away from firework activity.
Properly dispose of fireworks. Douse spent fireworks with water.
Act responsibly, follow the laws, and use common sense.