2 Steps To Help You Celebrate Independence Day Safely

Posted on: 28 September 2016

Independence Day in the United States is a time when families and friends get together to enjoy picnics, outdoor activities, and fireworks. If you don't want to fight any crowds to watch a professional firework display, you can put on your own fireworks display at home. Here are two steps to help you do this and celebrate your country's independence safely.

Step 1: Know Your State and Area Laws

If you are new to the area or have never purchased fireworks, it is a good idea to check the laws in your area to find out what types of fireworks, if any, are allowed. Most states in the U.S. will allow some type of fireworks, but there are a few states that ban all types. The states that ban all firework use include Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware. Other states, such as Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and, Vermont allow only sparklers and other similar novelty items to be enjoyed, but nothing else.

After you have made sure fireworks are allowed in your area, make sure to find out which types of fireworks are allowed. Some areas may allow fireworks that shoot up into the air within a limited range while banning any high-flying aerial fireworks that pass this height range. 

Also, make sure there are no bans on fireworks due to current drought conditions. Fireworks may be normally allowed in your area for the holiday. If conditions in the area have been too dry without rain recently, local officials can ban some or all fireworks, as there can be a greater risk for a fire starting. A fire in the right type of dry conditions can spread quickly and grow out of control, making it hard for fire crews to put out. 

Step 2: Buy Fireworks and Follow Firework Safety

With the convenience of the internet, you no longer have to leave your house to buy fireworks. There are many online fireworks stores that sell all types of fireworks for you to choose from. Be sure to check their delivery times and order them in advance so you allow time for the fireworks to ship to your home. Or you can go to a local firework stand to make your selections firsthand.

To keep yourself safe, it is never a good idea to make your own fireworks from supplies you buy online or locally. Not having the trained knowledge you will need about pyrotechnics and how to properly build fireworks can lead to serious injuries from explosions or fire. 

When you bring your fireworks home, inspect them to make sure they are all appear intact with a fuse and without any powders leaking from its packaging. Do not use any fireworks that appear to be damaged, as they can prematurely ignite and cause injury to yourself. Never light a firework that has a shorter-than-normal fuse. A short fuse can cause the firework to discharge before you can get a safe distance away.

Select an area to light your fireworks that is free of any shrubbery or weeds and nearby buildings, such as the roadway or your driveway. On July 4th, two out of five fires reported have been started by fireworks, so it is important to do all you can to prevent unnecessary fire damage.

If any of your fireworks do not discharge after lighting their fuse, do not try to relight them. Wait approximately 20 minutes, then place the firework into a bucket of water to extinguish any sparks inside the item. Some fireworks can burn slowly with tiny embers, then can ignite later on when you do not expect it, causing injury to yourself or other family members and children.

Use these two tips to help you celebrate a fun and safe Independence Day.