At EPS Security, we believe life safety goes far beyond our systems. While fireworks offer festive fun around the holidays, statistics show just how dangerous these explosives can be if safety measures are ignored. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Report, 11,500 firework-related injuries occurred in 2021 alone. Of these injuries, 74% took place in the weeks leading up to and following the Fourth of July holiday.
Before hosting your own backyard extravaganza this Independence Day, brush up on best practices for safe firework use. Our tips may seem like common sense, but a refresher never hurts when it comes to your safety, and the safety of those you love.
1. Review state and local firework ordinances
Before you take to celebrating the Fourth of July with an at-home firework show, be sure to review state and local firework ordinances. In many states and cities, fireworks are highly-regulated, and are only legal for personal use during certain days and times.
If fireworks are legal to purchase and use in your area, the following tips are here to help you avoid injury, and celebrate safely.
2. Wear protective eye gear and maintain a safe distance
Fourteen percent of firework-related burn injuries impact the eyes. When lighting fireworks, wearing protective eye gear is highly recommended. Additionally, immediate retreat to a safe distance is essential when setting fireworks off. Once a firework is lit, back up a minimum of five to seven feet from the explosive.
3. Light off fireworks one at a time
Leave the firework finales to the professionals. For the safety of those operating the explosives, fireworks should be lit off one at a time.
4. Never attempt to re-light a malfunctioning firework
Malfunctioning fireworks can be extremely dangerous. If a firework does not light on the first go, never attempt to re-light an explosive that did not spark.
5. Never allow children to handle fireworks
Children should never light fireworks—even sparklers. While they may be a family favorite, sparklers burn at temperatures around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to melt most metals!
In 2021, an estimated 1,100 emergency room visits involved sparklers. We recommend keeping young children at a distance from sparklers completely, and maintaining close supervision of young adults using sparklers on or around the Fourth.
6. Keep a water source close by
When planning to light off fireworks, be sure to keep a hose or other water source nearby. If you’re lighting fireworks off in a grassy area or near trees, hose down your surroundings to minimize the risk of wildfire.
7. Soak fireworks in water before discarding
Fireworks can still be burning on the inside long after they spark. Before discarding fireworks, submerge the explosives fully in water and allow them to saturate. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy recommends soaking used fireworks in water overnight before disposing of them in your personal garbage.
Even unused fireworks should be soaked before being thrown away. Soak never-before-lit fireworks until they are fully saturated, with time varying based on size.
If you’re searching for the safest way to enjoy fireworks, sit back, relax, and attend your city’s local show! This option minimizes the risks associated with personal firework use.
The EPS advantage
The safety of Michiganders is and always has been our highest priority. As a local provider protecting Michigan homes and businesses, our safety partnerships and physical security solutions are tailored to meet our customers’ specific needs. We’ll secure your home from after-hours intrusion, dispatch authorities in the event of a fire, install cameras so you can stay connected on-the-go, and so much more. If you’re ready to move from general safety advice to concrete protection, EPS Security knows just the place to start.