The Fourth of July is here! As you relax and enjoy the holiday with family and friends, it’s our job to remind you of some important tips to keep you safe when interacting with a popular Independence Day pastime – fireworks.

The Fourth of July is annually the peak of fireworks season. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association says that 18,500 fires annually are caused by fireworks, and more than one quarter of those reported incidents occur on Independence Day. That’s a significant amount of fires produced by fireworks – on one day of the year, no less – and it’s a number that could be much lower if folks had better awareness of proper pyrotechnic techniques. That’s where we come in.

Below are some basic tips focused on safety, to help you avoid problems and have a safe, enjoyable experience with fireworks this holiday:

  • If fireworks are illegal where you live, don’t use them.
  • Keep all fireworks away from children. Devices such as sparklers and fountains prompt the most likely injuries to children – and the tip of a sparkler burns at 1,300 degrees.
  • If using fireworks, do so on a hard, flat surface in an open area, such as a driveway. Avoid lighting fireworks on grass surfaces or in containers.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Have a way to quickly extinguish a fire on hand – a hose, fire extinguisher or bucket of water are ideal. Place used fireworks in a bucket of water.
  • Use common sense. Don’t point fireworks at anyone, and keep everyone a safe distance away. Children should be kept at least 30 feet away.
  • If you are intoxicated, do not set off fireworks. Allow a sober individual to do the honor instead.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors