WASHINGTON – The number of Americans planning to use backyard fireworks this Fourth of July is expected to hit an all-time high. In preparation for holiday celebrations, The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) encourages consumers to review all safety tips before purchasing and using fireworks.
"Every year, safety is our first priority as families begin to plan their Fourth of July festivities. While fireworks are the most iconic and festive way to celebrate our country’s independence, there can be dangers if fireworks are used improperly,” said Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety. “Consumers should purchase fireworks from a reputable company or fireworks stand, check local and state laws for fireworks use in your city, and check all instructions on fireworks packaging before use.”
The fireworks industry has made great progress in improving firework quality and reducing injuries; however, there is still work to be done as the vast majority of fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. each year result from the misuse of fireworks.
We have seen an increase in injuries among youth that have used fireworks in videos unsafely to impress their friends or to get a laugh. We want parents to help us put a stop to using fireworks in viral videos by encouraging safety and by explaining that the improper use of fireworks can produce serious injuries or even death.
“We have a collective responsibility as a community to put a stop to improper fireworks usage. If you see something that is unsafe, say something or report it to your local fire or police department,” said Blogin.
The NCFS’s mission is to educate the public on the safe use of fireworks and encourages consumers to follow the following safety tips before engaging in fireworks celebrations this Fourth of July:
1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
2. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
7. Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.
8. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
9. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
10. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
11. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
12. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
13. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
14. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
15. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
16. With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.
If you have any questions regarding how to properly use fireworks we encourage you to consult your local dealer.