Fireworks often fill the night sky, especially around the 4th of July. The exploding colors and the BOOM! of the display can leave you awestruck. However, firework safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to protecting yourself and your property.
The latest data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that an estimated 10,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals in 2019. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes in their most recent report that an estimated 19,500 fires were started by fireworks in the U.S. in 2018, causing $105 million in direct property damage. Additionally, more than a quarter (28 percent) of fires started by fireworks between 2014–2018 were reported on Independence Day.
Firework damage and injuries are not worth the risk, so it’s best to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.
If you do plan to use any sort of fireworks (even small ones), make sure to follow firework safety tips to keep your home, business, and the people you are with out of harm’s way.
In many states, it may be unlawful to handle certain fireworks. Make sure you follow all state laws when purchasing products, as professional use is required for many items.
The legality of operating fireworks is one thing, but protecting yourself from a serious injury or extensive property damage should also be a major concern.
Firework safety relies on you using them correctly. Follow these general guidelines:
• Read the directions for use and pay attention to what you are doing.
• Wait several minutes before retrieving fireworks that don’t work or pieces that were used; soak components in water.
• Light a firework and move away quickly after lighting a fire work, standing at least 25 feet away from the ignition spot.
• Re-light fireworks that don’t ignite.
• Point fireworks at others, alter fireworks, or use them improperly.
• Ignite fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Firework damage can be costly in a variety of ways. If you choose to use fireworks, know their capabilities.
This is one of the most important firework safety tips to follow. The destruction of buildings, trees, grass, and more can occur if fireworks are lit to close to vulnerable areas. Even the smallest ones can cause fires, so these products should only be used in areas that are open and don’t have nearby liabilities.
Precautions to take:
• Never use fireworks indoors.
• Place fireworks on flat, non-combustible surfaces.
• Do not use fireworks on extremely dry or windy days.
• Remove any flammable materials from the ignition area.
• Do not wear loose fitting clothing that could catch on fire or get caught on the firework.
Firework safety is never truly 100% guaranteed, but igniting them in areas with the least amount of risk is mandatory for a safe celebration.
The risk of a fire to your property is heightened anytime fireworks are used nearby, even if you aren’t the one igniting them. In case of a fire, you can do your part to extinguish flames with a few supplies on hand:
• Fire extinguisher
• Hose with nozzle
• Additional fire suppressant materials
If a fire occurs that you cannot extinguish yourself or injuries occur, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Children should never be allowed to play with any firework by themselves or in a reckless manner. Additionally, parents or guardians should always light and extinguish the items to avoid child injuries.
Kids love the allure of fireworks, but even if they use a small device, it should be done with adult supervision.
Even sparklers can cause injuries to children. According to the CPSC, these fireworks burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt certain metals.
Part of the disposal process includes dousing used fireworks or those that didn’t ignite.
If a firework has been lit, make sure to wait for an extended period of time before touching the item, as it could still be hot.
Extinguished fireworks should be discarded in a metal trashcan away from any buildings or vulnerable areas and need to be thrown away without being combined with combustible materials.
Finally, ensure that you throw away all fireworks that have been used and never leave them on grass or other flammable surfaces.
If you have a commercial or residential property that has received firework damage, the restoration experts at Unified Disaster Resources (UDR) provide comprehensive services to restore your facility. We will mitigate destruction, reconstruct your buildings, and make improvements in a timely, efficient manner. Firework accidents are unfortunate, but with a partner like UDR, we can help you rectify damages.
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Unified Disaster Resources is an expert at complete damage recovery, and we want to share our knowledge with you! Doing Away with Damage is a place you can rely on for mitigation, restoration, and OSHA Safety resources. We want you to be protected, prepared, and taken care of, and this blog is going to make sure you know what that looks like!