Red, White, & OUCH! Tips to Avoid a Fireworks Injury this 4th of July

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Important Information for Independence Day

By Carol Azarovitz, publisher of Macaroni Kid Bloomfield, MI July 1, 2020

It's the time of year for one of the most American of traditions: fireworks!

This July 4, many professional fireworks displays have been canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. That means that more families will likely purchase their own fireworks for at-home fun.

When I was growing up, my father liked to put on a colorful display of fireworks in our side yard every year. That was the spot because it was wide open, free of any close trees or power lines, and there was a hose nearby. We would light up our little piece of the sky with what we thought were the most beautiful fireworks ever. 

Remember, Colorado law states that fireworks that leave the ground, explode, or break off into pieces are not allowed. Please remember to to keep all fireworks away from dry grass, homes, and anything flammable. If you bring in fireworks from outside Colorado, they are mostly likely illegal and subject to seizure, summons, or fines. If a fire restriction is in place, personal fireworks are not permitted.

No matter what size your fireworks display is, fireworks can be hazardous so it is important to take certain precautions. All fireworks have risks.

In fact, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those, 62% occurred between June 22 and July 22. 

Here are nine safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep in mind if you'll be setting off fireworks at home:

  • Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never use or make professional-grade fireworks.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000˚F. This is hot enough to melt some metals. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for more than half of the total estimated fireworks injuries.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishaps.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.

We hope with a little care and caution, your family has a safe and happy Independence Day!

For more information, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's fireworks safety education center.