Fireworks Safety Tips for the Fourth of July
Apart from barbecues and parades, we just can’t imagine the Fourth of July without firecrackers. Sure enough, it’s one federal holiday where people could get there hands on anything legal that makes a loud bang.
Then again, despite state and federal regulations on the use of firecrackers, last year’s celebration saw at least 9,100 injuries, with 5,600 of these occurring weeks before and after Independence Day. That’s the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also recorded five fireworks-related deaths during the same period.
As the debate to whether or not enforce a total nationwide ban on firecrackers ensues, it’s only clear that fireworks safety is up to homeowners themselves.
So, if you’re celebrating the Fourth of July with “bombs bursting in air,” here are a few safety tips you might want to know about:
1. Learn your state’s fireworks laws
While some states prohibit the sale and use of fireworks, there are those that have specific regulations in place. If you’re not careful, you could be violating laws without knowing it. That said, always check your state’s laws on fireworks.
Texas, for one, allows the sale of fireworks only on certain dates to commemorate important federal and state holidays. Make sure to double check these laws before you head out shopping for roman candles. One thing’s for sure, State law prohibits setting off fireworks more than100 feet from any flammable liquid. And unless authorized, it’s illegal to light fireworks within 600 feet of any medical or educational institution or a church.
Cities also have a special set of laws regarding the use of fireworks for purposes other than celebrating the fourth of July. In Dallas, for instance, fireworks are prohibited at least 5,000 feet outside the city unless they are used for sanctioned events. Fort Worth also has a similar law, although you could pay a heftier fine if you are found possessing fireworks.
2. Coordinate with the local fire department
Planning a community fireworks display at your backyard? You might as well let local authorities know. Make sure you tell the fire department about your plans and ask for any safety recommendations. That way, you won’t get singled out for an illegal fireworks operation that might lead to injuries and property damage.
3. Make sure you have emergency essentials
Whether you’re the one who’s going to light the fuse, it pays to have a water hose nearby. So, if you see the slightest hint of smoke rising from the firecrackers you bought, don’t hesitate to hose it down.
4. Keep your pets indoors
Fireworks are your pets’ worst nightmare. The noise could send them panicking or cause them to run amok outside, so you might as well keep them indoors and make them feel comfortable away from the chaos outside.
5. Avoid lighting up when intoxicated
Independence Day is possibly the best time for red, white, and blue jello shots. But having too much to drink when you’re in charge of lighting fuses is DEFINITELY not a good idea. It’s okay to drink yourself to sleep only after you have exhausted your arsenal of fireworks. If you can’t help it, have someone else to light up the stash.
6. Light up carefully
When lighting fuses, make sure you’re in an open space. Avoid wearing materials that easily catch fire and prevent children from crossing the area. Also, as tempting as it sounds, lighting multiple fireworks increases the chances of a mishap, so you might as well light one up at a time. But if you’re not planning to set off fireworks yourself, there are events in and around the DFW area your family could enjoy this Thursday. You can head on over to Stewart Creek Park or the Lone Star Park for an evening of food, fireworks, and freedom.
Keep these tips in mind for a safer and injury-free Fourth of July!