The 4th of July is right around the corner, which means people are flocking to fireworks stores to buy their displays. While leaving fireworks to the professionals is always the safest option, we understand that some people would instead make the fun themselves! Fireworks lead to a staggering number of injuries each year. Before you light any fireworks this year, keep these safety tips in mind.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Fireworks can’t be set off just anywhere. You need to carefully choose your location and remain aware of your surroundings as you set them off. Make sure you’re outdoors before lighting any fireworks. Keep a reasonable distance from houses and other potentially flammable items. Those standing by to watch the fireworks need to stay far away to make sure they aren’t injured during the show. Sparklers require attentive behavior too. They may seem harmless, but they’re actually responsible for 25% of all firework-related injuries each year! Don’t let young children use sparklers alone, make sure they aren’t wearing baggy clothing, and fully extinguish the sparkler when they’re done using it.

Safe Ignition

Fireworks should only be lit by adults. If older children want to help, they should be closely supervised by an adult the entire time. Once you’ve ignited the firework, you should keep a safe distance. Wear protective eyewear in case the firework goes off sooner than you’re expecting.
Most importantly, never ignite a firework while it’s in your hand. If your attempt to ignite a firework and it doesn’t go off, don’t try to light it a second time. Don’t ignite fireworks while they’re still in packaging or while you’re under the influence of any substance. Only ignite one firework at a time to reduce the risk of injury.

Cleaning Up

Just because the display is over doesn’t mean the potential for danger is. Cleaning up after fireworks should be taken just as seriously as igniting the fireworks. Soak any unused fireworks in water for 2-3 hours before you throw them away. Keep a bucket of water close during the show to put out any fireworks that are still lit and don’t ignite properly.
Choosing to use your own fireworks may seem like a fun idea, but it’s a very dangerous one too. Look up information for local fireworks in your area before deciding to do a show yourself. If you do set off your own fireworks, make sure they’re legally purchased and allowed in your state.