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6 tips to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks safely

With the Fourth of July approaching, it’s a good time to review a few safety tips that will keep everyone safe.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks

Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, sparklers are the leading cause of fireworks-related injuries. Sparklers can burn at about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.

Be ready for a fire just in case

Keep a bucket of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy in case of fire or other mishaps. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

Follow local rules

Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. Beware of fireworks packaged in brown paper or unlabeled fireworks — typically those are for professional use only and could pose a danger to consumers.

Be considerate

Fireworks can cause severe stress for individuals with PTSD and other types of medical conditions.

Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the noise from fireworks.

Handling and lighting fireworks

Light fireworks outdoors on a driveway or other paved surface that is at least 25 feet away from homes and any flammable materials, including dry grass or mulch.

Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions before lighting a firework. Always light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. Remember when lighting not to place any part of your body directly over a firework.

If it’s a dud, don’t try to relight or pick it up. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before discarding.

Never shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers.

Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs

In 2020, 18 people died from a fireworks-related incident and over 15,000 people were injured using fireworks.

66% of those who were injured and 44% of those who died had used alcohol or drugs prior to the incident.

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