Fireworks season is already underway here in Michigan as more than 1.7 million residents are expected to congregate near the Detroit River to experience the 2012 Target Fireworks on June 25.
When families from Canada and America line the shores of the Detroit River to view more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects launched from three barges on the river, countless children will inevitably become inspired to launch their own fireworks at smaller family celebrations to celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July.
In hopes that your loved ones experience a fun and safe Independence Day, here are five firework safety tips to follow as you celebrate.
Find out if lighting fireworks is illegal in your state.
Believe it or not, lighting fireworks is not legal everywhere in America. Here in Michigan, there are currently 15 types of fireworks legally allowed including:
- Bottle Rockets
- Sky Rockets Roman Candles
- Smoke and Punk
- Crackle and Strobe
- Wheels and Spinners
- Sky Flyers
- Display Shells
- Cakes – Aerial Items
If you’re unsure about what fireworks are legal in your area, contact your local police department or visit the U.S. Fireworks website and click on your state to view the state legal requirements regarding fireworks.
Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water close to the action.
The National Fire Protection Association revealed that local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires each year that are caused by fireworks.
While accidents sometimes occur when lighting fireworks, many accidents can be avoided by following safety precautions and keeping a fire extinguisher or bucket of water near the place you will ignite your fireworks.
Ignite fireworks away from flammable substances.
You may come in contact with flammable materials everyday at home and not even realize it. Flammable materials ignite easily and come in three different forms of matter including:
- Solid – paper, wood, clothes
- Liquid – gasoline, alcohol, acetone
- Gas – propane, methane, butane
When igniting fireworks, be sure to locate any flammable substances and keep them clear of the area in use for your fireworks display.
Point fireworks away from homes and people.
The act of igniting fireworks should be taken seriously and never used as a method to play a prank on a friend or a neighboring homeowner.
With this in mind, you should never ignite and point fireworks in the direction of people or houses (even if the home is abandoned). Injuries and even fatalities have occurred due to fireworks, yet, many of these situations can be avoided if the proper safety precautions are taken.
Never relight a dud!
This may be the most important tip on the list.
Under no circumstances should you ever relight fireworks that failed to ignite on the first attempt. Relighting a dud can put the user and witnesses in extreme danger as the fireworks may already be ignited and experience a delayed explosion.
A delay in explosion can be potentially harmful to anyone close enough to the radius of the fireworks as the sudden accidental burst accounts for many firework-related injuries each year.
Reports reveal that more than 6,000 children yearly experience some kind of firework-related injury. So be sure to employ some of the tips listed above for a fun Independence Day firework celebration that’s safe for your family and friends to enjoy!