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Fireworks Safety

Used for celebrations, holidays or just a night at home, fireworks can provide spectacular entertainment for people of all ages. But before purchasing fireworks, it is important to know your state’s firework laws. Only three states (Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey) ban all consumer fireworks. Illinois, Idaho, Ohio and Vermont only allow wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelty items. The remaining 43 states and the District of Columbia allow some or all types of consumer fireworks permitted by federal regulations.

Spectator Safety

  • Be aware of spectators' proximity to the fireworks. Have them stand at least 15 feet away from larger fireworks and always make sure no sparks or flame will hit the spectators.
  • Make sure the fireworks are placed on level, solid ground. This will prevent the fireworks from sliding or shooting at an angle and hurting the spectators.
  • Always have an adult supervise firework activities and children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of approximately 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt most metals.
  • In the event of an injury, be prepared with a first aid kit and knowledge of burns.  

 Accident Avoidance

  • Know the firework laws in your state (or visiting state). Every state has its own specific laws and breaking these laws can get you in serious legal trouble. Check here for your state laws: http://www.americanpyro.com/state-law-directory
  • Store your fireworks in a cool, dry place. This will keep them from malfunctioning and creating an accident.
  • Only use fireworks in outdoor areas that are free of overhead obstructions and away from dry grass or other flammable materials.
  • Don't light fireworks on grass, wooden decks or other potentially flammable surfaces.
  • Don't allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Don't place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • In case of a fire or mishap, keep a bucket of water or a hose handy.
  • Don't carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Don't shoot the fireworks off in any container, especially glass or metal containers.
  • After fireworks stop burning, pour water on the spent product before throwing it away. This will prevent the product from continuing to burn and starting a fire.
  • Don't try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Don't point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • And remember, alcohol and fireworks don't mix. It's incredibly dangerous to be around fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.

Additional Resources:

American Pyrotechnic Association Laws for 2016: http://www.americanpyro.com/assets/docs/FactsandFigures/2016%20state%20laws%20firework%20map.pdf
Laws by State: http://www.americanpyro.com/state-law-directory
CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/fireworks/
National Council on Firework Safety: http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/121339/012.pdf

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