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June 29, 2010 > Fireworks safety tips

Fireworks safety tips

By Alissa Gwynn

It's almost the Fourth of July, and you know what that means...fireworks season! Fireworks, although legal in certain areas (see listing to find where fireworks are allowed), can be hazardous and handled with caution. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and fun Independence Day:

Never use homemade fireworks; use only those considered legal and "safe and sane"; store them in a cool, dry area. Legal fireworks will display the manufacturer's name and directions for use.

Observe local laws concerning the safe use of fireworks.

Never let children handle fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers, although seemingly harmless, can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always use fireworks outside, away from brush and flammable substances; keep a hose and bucket of water nearby.

Use fireworks as intended; never combine or alter fireworks.

Have a "designated shooter"; alcohol and fireworks are not a safe mix!

Never re-light a "dud" firework; wait 20 minutes and then soak it in water.

Shooters should wear safety glasses when setting off fireworks, and spectators should remain a safe distance away. Never point a firework at a person, even in jest, as fireworks are prone to backfires.

Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away, and never pick up the pieces after a firework has been set up. Some may still ignite and can explode at any time.

Be mindful of pets; with all of the loud noises, they may get spooked. Keep them indoors, away from fireworks.

Many of these tips are recommended by the National Council on Fireworks Safety. For More information, visit their website at

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