For many of us, summer isn’t truly summer without fireworks. Although elaborate firework shows are a staple of local Fourth of July celebrations, smaller-scale firework displays are commonplace at many family picnics, birthday parties and summer barbecues. Unfortunately, people don’t always prioritize safety when setting off fireworks, and such negligence can pave the way for a host of negative consequences. From extensive property damage to serious injury to death, regarding fireworks as toys can facilitate a bevy of undesirable outcomes. Anyone looking to keep their summertime firework displays enjoyable and incident-free should actively avoid the following blunders.
Setting of Multiple Fireworks at Once
Under no circumstances should you light multiple fireworks at once. It’s possible that you’ve seen this done at professional displays and thought you were capable of recreating it, but you must absolutely never attempt this. Among the most likely outcomes are massive fires and severe injuries to you and/or those around you. Furthermore, if either of these possibilities come to pass, you may also find yourself in legal trouble and on the receiving end of costly lawsuits. If one firework at a time isn’t enough for you, then stick to being a spectator at professional displays.
Allowing Kids to Set off Fireworks
Although it’s easy to see why so many children are enamored by fireworks, they must never be allowed to set them off. No matter how responsible a child may be, a single error in judgment or simple timing issue when dealing with fireworks can leave them injured – or worse. Wanting to be seen as a cool, lenient parent is understandable, but when it comes to fireworks, it’s important that you put your foot down. Your kids may give you grief for this, but their well-being is far more important than your reputation as a permissive parent.
Purchasing Unsafe Fireworks
When searching for the right fireworks, safety should be foremost on your mind. For example, any standard fireworks or mortar fireworks you purchase should come from companies that pride themselves on creating the safest possible products. In addition, avoid buying fireworks that are intended for professional displays, as these aren’t intended for non-pros and can prove extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
Setting Off Fireworks Under the Influence
While alcohol is an all-too-common presence at summertime shindigs, drinking and/or drug use should never factor into your firework displays. After all, impaired judgment is the absolute last thing you want to be dealing with when setting off fireworks. That being the case, if you intend to include fireworks in your next summer gathering, you’ll need to stay away from alcohol for the entire day. If this simply isn’t an option for you, entrust firework duties to someone who has experience setting off fireworks, is well-versed in firework safety and is willing to abstain from drinking all day.
Standing Too Close to Fireworks
Once a firework has been lit, you should place as much distance as possible between yourself and the firework. This will help prevent you from taking a direct hit or incurring an injury in the event of a malfunction. By extension, avoid placing any part of yourself directly over a firework when lighting it. Furthermore, any friends or family members present for the display should be required to maintain a safe distance from the action at all times.
You must never attempt to re-light a firework. A firework that you were particularly about turning out to be a dud is undeniably a letdown, but trying to re-light it can have tragic consequences. For one thing, it may not actually be a dud, which can make getting close to it a very risky gamble. As such, take care to promptly douse any duds – and any other fireworks – with water before proceeding to dispose of them.
For millions of Americans, summer just wouldn’t be complete without fireworks. In addition to shooting them off for fun, many people use fireworks to add a festive mood to various parties and get-togethers. However, when it comes to proper firework safety, a fair number of us are sorely lacking. Failing to take the proper precautions when shooting off fireworks can land you in the hospital – or worse. Furthermore, negligence in this area poses a significant danger to the people around you. In the interest of keeping your summertime firework displays incident-free, steer clear of the previously discussed blunders.