How to Use Fireworks Safely

Written By Melissa Jabour

Fireworks are a hallmark of Fourth of July celebrations. In 2018, however, over 9,000 people required medical treatment due to fireworks-related injuries. Fifty percent of those injuries were to children and young adults ages 20 and under. While a majority of these injuries occurred due to improper use of professional, homemade, or illegal fireworks, many injuries were caused by legal fireworks and sparklers. In fact, sparklers account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries, and for children under the age of five, sparklers account for nearly half of the total fireworks-related injuries. By keeping firework safety tips in mind, your family can prevent dangerous accidents and have a safe, happy holiday.

Firework Safety Tips

As the July 4th holiday approaches, here are some firework safety tips to follow if you choose to use fireworks at home:

  • Make sure the fireworks you are using have not been recalled. Just last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced four separate fireworks-related recalls; some of the affected fireworks were sold at a small chain of stores in Pennsylvania.
  • Never allow children to handle fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hand.
  • Never light fireworks indoors—only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
  • Light only one firework at a time, and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Do not attempt to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak used fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.
  • Instead of using sparklers with children, consider using glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.