Although fireworks are a staple of summertime gatherings, a fair number of us need a refresher on how to properly handle them. Since a single oversight can result in personal injury, property damage, uncontained fire, or some combination thereof, safety should be foremost on your mind whenever fireworks are involved. Fortunately, proper firework safety isn’t nearly as daunting as many people make it look. By taking the following measures, you can help ensure that firework mishaps are a non-presence at your summer shindigs.
Keep Children Away
It’s easy to see why children are naturally drawn to fireworks. In addition to making loud noises, fireworks are colorful and closely associated with festive events. However, while children should certainly be free to enjoy fireworks, they must never be allowed to set them off. No matter how cautious or responsible your children are, allowing them to operate fireworks is practically asking for trouble. Since a single slip-up is all it takes for things to go tragically wrong, you must never allow your kids to handle fireworks. Furthermore, always require them to keep a safe distance from fireworks being set off by adults.
While you’re likely to catch a lot of grief from your kids in response to these rules, such precautions are intended to keep them safe. Like many things in life, your children will come to appreciate your approach to firework safety when they’re older.
Don’t Operate Fireworks Under the Influence
Alcohol and fireworks can be a fatal combination. Although drinking is a staple of many summertime shindigs, people who are under the influence shouldn’t be allowed to shoot off fireworks. In addition to dealing with impaired judgment, these individuals may also have delayed reaction times – both of which can cause big problems whenever fireworks are involved. So, if you intend to make fireworks a part of your next summer gathering, you should abstain from drinking if you’ll be the one shooting them off. If you’re not amenable to this arrangement, appoint a designated fireworks person – i.e., a responsible adult who’s willing to forgo alcohol for the day.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Once a firework has been lit, make sure to put as much distance between yourself and said firework as possible. In addition, everyone else in attendance should be required to keep a safe distance from the fireworks at all times. You should also take care to avoid placing any part of yourself directly over fireworks when lighting them.
Don’t Relight Fireworks
Although dealing with duds can be disappointing, you should never attempt to relight a firework under any circumstances. For one thing, the firework may not actually be a dud. Not only should you never relight fireworks, you should also douse any duds – or supposed duds – with water before proceeding to dispose of them.
Keep a Steady Source of Water Close By
Whenever you’re dealing with fireworks, you’ll need to keep a steady source of water close at hand. A good hose should be able to do the trick, but in the absence of one, take care to keep a few buckets of water within easy reach. Having a water source will enable you to deal with small fires in a timely manner and douse used fireworks before cleaning them up.
Purchase High-Quality Fireworks
When shopping around for the right fireworks, limit your choices to products from companies that have a reputation for safety and quality. So, the next time you’re searching for roman candles or any other type of firework, don’t be afraid to exercise discernment. Additionally, avoid purchasing fireworks that are intended for professional displays. These can often be identified by their brown paper packaging.
For many of us, summer simply wouldn’t be summer without fireworks. Given how common a presence fireworks are at summertime gatherings, there’s little wonder as to why so many people have come to associate the season with them. However, the fact that fireworks are synonymous with good times doesn’t mean that safety shouldn’t be observed. All it takes is one small oversight for a fun-filled summer shindig to take an unfortunate turn. That being the case, anyone who intends to make fireworks a part of their next summer event should make safety their foremost priority. In the interest of practicing proper firework safety, heed the measures discussed above.