How to Handle Fireworks Safely

Fireworks are a fun and exciting staple of summertime holidays. However, when they are not handled properly, they can lead to devastating outcomes such as fires, burns, and even death.

According to the 2020 National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fireworks fires and injuries report, 19,500 fires were caused by fireworks in 2018. Those fires led to five deaths, 46 injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. In the same year, 9,100 people were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for firework-related injuries.

It is often wise to leave the fireworks to professionals. However, if you choose to set off your own, make sure you know how to handle fireworks safely.

Fireworks Safety Rules

Follow these rules when celebrating with fireworks:

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing.
  2. Do not purchase fireworks packaged in brown paper. This usually indicates that they are meant for professional displays.
  3. Always read and follow directions on the label.
  4. Do not use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  5. Only use fireworks outside.
  6. Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
  7. Ensure that all pets are inside before lighting fireworks.
  8. Light one firework at a time.
  9. Make sure your body is not directly over the firework while lighting.
  10. Never light a firework inside a glass or metal container.
  11. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting a firework.
  12. Do not experiment with fireworks or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  13. Do not try to re-ignite fireworks that are malfunctioning.
  14. Never give fireworks to small children.
  15. Keep water on hand when using fireworks.
  16. Soak used fireworks with water before throwing them away.
  17. Do not aim or throw fireworks at another person, a home or flammable substances such as brush.
  18. Do not allow children to clean up fireworks.

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