Make sure you are safe with fireworks.

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing the sky light up with multiple colors and sounds for the 4th of July!  Fireworks are exciting, fun and festive but also very dangerous causing serious burn and eye injuries.   

The National Council of Fireworks Safety recommends that consumers only buy fireworks from a licensed store or stand.  Never buy fireworks from an individual’s house, or out of someone’s car.  Such fireworks are likely to be illegal explosives that can cause serious injuries.  Consumer fireworks are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and are packaged in bright colors and have safety warnings on the packaging.  The packaging sets forth the country of origin, which is normally China.  Typical consumer fireworks include fountains, cones, sparklers, fire crackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, ground spinners and multi-shot products.  Illegal explosives are often unpackaged and are wrapped with plain brown paper.  Most likely, they do not have any safety warnings or place of manufacture.  Consumer fireworks, if used in accordance with instructions, are very safe.

Always make sure fireworks are legal in the location that has been selected for display.  Local governments have specific regulations regarding use of fireworks.  Make sure to also check for temporary burn bans enacted in your area. 

In order to promote safety during fireworks displays, the National Council and Consumer Product Safety Commission urges individuals to follow these important tips:

Only use fireworks outdoors. Never give fireworks to young children and always wear safety glasses. Read and follow all warnings and instructions. Be sure other individuals are out of range before lighting fireworks. Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials. Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Always keep a bucket of water, or water hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix!

Prior planning and preparing for the evening’s fireworks display will help promote safety.  Make sure the designated shooter has a shooting area and that the individuals watching the displays are in a spectator area far enough away from the launching site. Preplanning makes for a safe and fun backyard fireworks display. 

For more information on firework safety visit the CDC or fireworks safety website at http://www.cdc.gov/Home and RecreationalSafety/Fireworks or http://www.fireworksafety.com.