7 Firework Safety Tips

During the 4th of July holiday, many families get together to celebrate with food and fireworks. Unfortunately, each year hospitals see an increased number of patients around the 4th of July because of the misuse of fireworks. If you’re planning on using fireworks in your family’s celebration, be sure to follow these tips to keep everyone safe:

  1. Cup cuffs – Children’s hands can get singed from sparklers. To keep this from happening, make a cup cuff for your little one. Take a disposable plastic cup and poke a hole in the bottom. Insert the sparkler through the hole and have the child hold the sparkler from inside the cup. This is a great way to allow kids to enjoy sparklers without the risk of getting burned. Smaller kids can also enjoy sparklers by creating a cup cuff with a play dough container. It’s small enough to cover their entire tiny hand without being too large where it would shift. A Thrifty Mom has an excellent tutorial on creating cup cuffs.
  1. A Bucket of Water – Always keep a bucket of water nearby. When your children are finished with their sparkler, have them drop it into the bucket. All used fireworks should go into the bucket as well. Some safety experts call for a bucket of sand to remain close by, but with this option, you’ll have to wait 30 minutes before picking any used pieces out of the bucket.
  1. Create a Perimeter – Do not allow spectators to wander around fireworks while they are lit. Everyone watching the fireworks should remain at least 25 feet away. Create a perimeter for spectators to stay within—use a colorful banner or streamer to display the barrier.
  1. Dress Appropriately – Make sure everyone is dressed appropriately—sometimes the importance of apparel is forgotten. Everyone should wear shoes to prevent potential foot burns. No one should be dressed in baggy or draped clothing because it can easily catch on fire. Keep long hair pulled back and away from your face. And the individuals operating the fireworks should wear safety glasses to prevent anything from flying into their eyes.
  1. Try Non-Lighted Options – If you’re celebrating the festivities with small children, you may want to consider using simpler firework options. There are quite a few options—tiny popper-and-string poppers are enjoyable for the little ones and do not give off much heat. These options do not require any lighting and are fairly easy for little hands to hold onto.
  1. Relighting – Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. It can be tempting because you want to get the most use out of all of your fireworks, however, the firework can blow up or catch on fire causing an accident or possible burn. It’s best to pour water on any fireworks that didn’t fully ignite.
  1. Keep Pets Indoors – Even though pets are considered part of the family, it’s very important to keep them indoors when fireworks are being set off. Set up a comfortable room for them within the house, and turn on a radio to help comfort them during the loud noises. Keep them entertained indoors with special treats and toys that will keep them occupied while everyone is away. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a long list of additional 4th of July safety tips for your fur-family.

Safety tips are oftentimes considered to be common sense. However, when it comes to your safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you go over the safety tips with your children each year and explain how important it is to take precautions.

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