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Celebrate Safely: 5 Tips For Handling Fireworks

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in 4 four deaths and over 9,000 injuries in 2011. Follow these tips to help keep your family and friends safe when using fireworks this year.

Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve are occasions that are most commonly celebrated with fireworks. Many municipalities put on elaborate, awe-inspiring fireworks displays during the holidays. However, the fireworks seen in such professional shows are often available for purchase at firework stores across the country. Although beautiful, fireworks are dangerous. It is important to take the proper precautions before attempting to set off any on your own.

1. Know the law!

Firework laws and regulations differ on a state, county and local basis. It is important to know your local law before attempting to shoot off fireworks. If it is illegal where you live, do not use them!

2. Use fireworks outdoors

Under no circumstances should fireworks be detonated indoors. Lighting fireworks indoors is extremely dangerous and an easy way to start a structure fire. Spectators should stay a safe distance back and the shooter should wear safety glasses and retreat to a safe distance upon ignition. Be sure to have a water source, such as a hose, ready in case of emergency.

3. Have a designated shooter

Drinking alcohol and lighting fireworks could lead to an accident. Always make sure that the shooter is sober, and do not light fireworks if you have been drinking.

4. Do not alter or combine fireworks

Fireworks are designed to detonate in the safest way possible, and altering their design greatly reduces that safety. Use all fireworks as the manufacturer intended them to be used.

5. Never attempt to re-light a dud firework

Fuses on fireworks are designed to a length that will give the shooter adequate time to retreat. Re-lighting a fuse that did not burn all the way reduces the amount of time the shooter will have to get away. Also, the firework may still detonate, even if you think it’s a dud. Wait twenty minutes and then soak the dud firework in water before disposal.

Following these easy tips will help keep you, your family and friends safe should you choose to use fireworks.

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