For generations, millions of Americans have sent up dazzling bursts of light and color in the night sky on this very night to celebrate our country’s independence. It is an American tradition that is fun for all ages. However, fireworks can also be dangerous if improperly handled.
Below are 5 tips for making your 4th of July holiday both fun and safe for you and your family.
Tip #1: Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper
Most people don’t know that fireworks packaged in brown paper are intended for professional and commercial use only, not for the average consumer. These devices are generally set off with a mechanical board, and can be highly dangerous if lit by hand. Leave these fireworks to the professionals.
Tip #2: Always have adult-supervision
Nearly half of all fireworks-related hospital visits are kids under the age of 20. A child may not fully understand the danger of fireworks, which is why adult supervision is a must. Parents may not realize that most injuries are caused by sparklers, which burn at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt most metals, let alone cause an injury. So no matter what kind of firework it is, be sure there is an adult present to ensure safety.
Tip #3: Never relight a dud
If a firework fails to ignite properly on the first try, do not attempt to relight it. Doing so may result in a surprise explosion. Instead, pour water on the device and safely discard it.
Tip #4: Keep a bucket of water or hose close by
Since lighting fireworks obviously involves a flame and sparks, it is always a good idea to keep a source of water nearby in case something catches on fire. A bucket of water or a hose are easy solutions.
Tips #5: Make sure fireworks are legal in your area
Restrictions on fireworks vary by state, county, and even city. In Tennessee, the following devices are allowed:
- Bottle rockets
- Roman candles
- Display shells
- Smoke and punk
- Wheels and spinners
- Sky flyers
- Aerial cakes
However, drought conditions and other factors may cause local law enforcement to issue a ban on some or all of these items. Check with your local government to find out what fireworks are legal in your area.
Test Your Fireworks Safety Knowledge
Of course, there are plenty of additional actions you can take to reduce the risk of a fireworks-related injury. If you think you are well-informed about fireworks safety, take the Fireworks Safety Quiz to test your knowledge. Or consider giving the quiz to your children so they understand the importance of fireworks safety.
And lastly, the Tennessee personal injury lawyers at Gilreath Law would like to wish you and your family a joyous and safe 4th of July holiday!