Posted by: Patricia Hysong | July 1, 2015

Fireworks and Safety



Although July is Fireworks Safety Month, The National Council of Fireworks Safety promotes safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks and wants everyone to get the message out about safe practices in the use of fireworks year around.

Preventing injury is the goal in their efforts to educate the public on how to use fireworks safely and responsibly. In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 fireworks related injuries.  All of the 2013 fireworks related fatalities were caused by fireworks that were banned, professional or home-manufactured devices according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Fireworks can do damage physically, emotionally and environmentally. They can even be deadly, but following these safety tips can make the experience far less dangerous and much more fun for all those involved.

  • know local laws and follow them
  • read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting
  • responsible adults SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children
  • alcohol and fireworks do not mix
  • wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
  • light one firework at a time and then quickly move away
  • use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles
  • never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
  • always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby
  • never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers
  • do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  • dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials
  • report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

It is the consumer’s responsibility to know the laws within the state they are purchasing fireworks in and remember just because they are legal to purchase and shoot off in one state, does not mean they are in the next. In all actuality, the ability to discharge fireworks can and does vary from county to county and town to town. Depending on the area and local regulations, there could be fireworks bans in one county and not the next. It is the responsibility and duty of the individual consumer to know all the laws regarding use of fireworks and check with the appointing authority in their chosen area before setting them off.

Beyond the safety issues and the responsibilities of those using fireworks, no matter the time of year or holiday, please also take into account those around you and your chosen site to shoot off the fireworks. As mentioned above, always know where it is legal and safe to discharge fireworks, but also consider those in the area. Many pets have anxiety and do not do well with the loud noises and flashes of light that come along with the beauty of fireworks. In addition, some people have adverse reactions to the same things. Be considerate and let folks around you know when and where you are planning to set them off so accommodations can be made to make it a better experience for those that don’t enjoy fireworks.

Information obtained and adapted from National Council on Fireworks Safety, the APA (American Pyrotechnics Association), and the CPSC.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.


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