Fireworks Safety Checklist

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 280 people go to the emergency room each day due to firework-related injuries in the month surrounding Independence Day. In 2017, nearly one-third of these injuries were to the hands and fingers, almost one-fourth of the injuries were to the head, face, and ears, and 14% were eye injuries. More than half of all injuries were burns.

Fireworks are fun and festive, but they can also be dangerous. Here’s a fireworks safety checklist to help make sure that your celebrations stay fun and safe.

Emergency room visits due to fireworks-related injuries skyrocket around the Fourth of July. Use this checklist to make sure your celebration stays safe and fun! Click To Tweet

Before lighting fireworks

  • Make sure that it’s legal to light fireworks in your area.
  • Check for burn bans. The risk of starting a fire is high when a burn ban is in effect.
  • Make sure that fireworks are undamaged. Do not light fireworks that are damaged or defective.
  • Do not open fireworks or make your own.
  • Have a bucket of water and a water hose ready before lighting fireworks.

Choose the right space

  • Light fireworks on a level surface. A hard, non-flammable surface — such as pavement or concrete — is ideal.
  • It’s a good idea to spray the area with water before lighting fireworks, especially when lighting fireworks in grassy areas.
  • Only light fireworks in open areas. Do not light fireworks in covered spaces or under trees.

Adult supervision

  • Children should be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Young children should never play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Be careful with “kids” fireworks. It’s not just the fireworks that go boom that you have to watch out for. Sparklers, fountains, and smoke bombs can cause burn injuries. Sparklers can reach temperatures over 2,000 °F.

Lighting fireworks safely

  • Do not drink alcohol while handling fireworks.
  • Make sure that fireworks are pointed away from people, buildings, trees, and structures at all times.
  • Light one firework at a time.
  • Never hold or throw fireworks.
  • Back up to a safe distance after igniting fireworks.
  • Stand clear of fireworks that fail. Once it’s safe to approach, place defective fireworks in water.
  • Do not relight fireworks that fail.
  • Firework holders, racks, or stands must be stable and secure. They should be made of plastic; do not use glass (which can break) or metal (which can cause burns).
  • Make sure that spectators are watching from a safe distance. Fireworks can fail to launch, or tip over, which puts people at risk.

Have a plan in case of emergencies.

  • Have emergency numbers ready and an emergency plan in case things don’t go according to plan.
  • An urgent care clinic is a good option for non-life-threatening medical emergencies. MANA Urgent Care has two convenient walk-in locations in Fayetteville, Arkansas.