After the extremely wet spring we faced no one would have ever thought that with the 4th of July just around the corner we would be in need of rain as badly as we are. Although we are not in as bad of shape as Florida or west Texas, misused and unattended fireworks could have devastating consequences.
The following steps will help to keep you and your land safe this fourth of July weekend:
1. Avoid mixing fireworks with alcohol or drugs. It’s a celebratory occasion, and its easy to forget that mixing alcohol and fireworks is never a good idea.
2. Make sure that all fireworks are burst only outdoors, fireworks must never be lit indoors.
3. While lighting fireworks, make sure that you have a steady supply of water close by, including a water hose to put out any sudden fires.
4. Never light fireworks around flammable materials or on dry grass! If necessary due to lack of rain, soak down the ground around where you are going to be setting off your fireworks.
5. Make sure you’re in compliance with all local safety laws before you begin your Fourth of July fireworks, and watch for any burn bans.
6. Buy your fireworks only from reputed manufacturers and sellers. Defective fireworks can explode, and cause serious injuries.
7. Don’t light a number of different fireworks at the same time. Lighting just one firework at a time helps you keep an eye on safety and all those around you.
8. Make sure the people standing around the fireworks are standing far enough away to avoid injuries.
9. Don’t use fireworks like toys. These are not meant to be used as playthings, and it’s a terrible idea to throw (or shoot) fireworks at others, or throw them in the air.
10. Never light fireworks inside an enclosed container, like a metal or glass container.
11. Don’t experiment with dud fireworks. Soak these in water, and then discard them.
Each year, emergency departments nationwide report thousands of fireworks related injuries, some resulting in death. In 2008, fireworks also caused an estimated 22,500 reported fires which resulted in $42 million in direct property damage. If you have any questions or concerns contact your local fire department.