Return to Index
Fireworks Safety: How to Keep It Fun and Avoid Injury
- Buy legal fireworks from reliable sellers.—Note: Some states ban fireworks, including sparklers. Check with your local government agency to determine if fireworks are banned in your state.
- Read and follow all label instructions and warnings.
- Always have an adult present. An adult should light the fireworks.
- Never allow children to ignite fireworks or play with them.
- Use fireworks outdoors only. Choose a smooth, flat surface away from people, pets, houses, and flammable materials (like dry leaves).
- All pets should be indoors during a fireworks display. Pets can become scared of the loud noises, and they could be injured.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people. Be sure that people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Always have water handy. A garden hose and a bucket should be in easy reach. After a firework has burned out, pour water on it. Soak it completely.
- Never take fireworks apart, mix their contents with anything else, or attempt to make your own fireworks.
- Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks. Never have any part of your body over the fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time. Move away quickly once the firecracker is lit.
- Never re-light a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes, then soak the dud firework in a bucket of water.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
- Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water. After, put them in a fireproof container that has a cover.
- Store unused fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- After a fireworks display, do not let your child pick up the firework pieces that are on the ground. These pieces could explode.
Special Note About Sparklers
- Wear closed-toe shoes to prevent burns on your feet.
- Light only one sparkler at a time.
- Stand when using a sparkler. Never run with a sparkler in your hand.
- Never wave a sparkler or throw one.
- Keep the sparkler at arm's length. Stand far away from people.
- Never hold a child in your arms if you are also holding a sparkler.
- Once lit, the sparkler becomes very hot. After it has burned out, put the sparkler in a bucket of water.
National Council on Fireworks Safety http://fireworkssafety.org
United States Consumer Products Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov
Canada Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Common Sense Tips for Staying Safe During New Years Celebrations. The National Council on Fireworks Safety website. Available at: http://fireworkssafety.org/?p=329. Accessed October 4, 2013.
Fireworks safety. Nemour's Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid%5Fsafe/outdoor/fireworks.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed October 4, 2013.
Fireworks publication #12. US Consumer Product and Safety Commission website. Available at: hhttp://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/121339/012.pdf. Updated June 2013. Accessed October 4, 2013.
July 4th fireworks safety starts with common sense tips. The National Council on Fireworks Safety website. Available at: http://fireworkssafety.org/?p=41. Accessed October 4, 2013.
Sparklers are safe when used safely. Available at: The National Council on Fireworks Safety website. http://fireworkssafety.org/archive/news%5Freleases/national%5Fcouncil%5Fon%5Ffirewor.pdf. Accessed October 4, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013
- Update Date: 10/00/2013