4th of July and Fireworks Safety
This weekend millions of Americans with join together to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Arguably the best holiday of the year, the 4th of July is known for backyard parties and barbeques, parades and bonfires, swimming and, of course, fireworks!
Fireworks Can Be Dangerous
While festive and fun, fireworks come with some inherent dangers, too.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires each year (structure, vehicle, outdoor, and other fires). Additionally, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that in 2017, 8 people died and over 12,000 people were injured in fireworks-related incidents. Over 50% of those injuries were to children and young adults under 20 years old.
Sparklers, often marketed as a safe handheld firework for children, can burn at temperatures ranging from 1200 to 2000 degrees (4 times hotter than your kitchen oven gets when baking your favorite cookies!). Although they emit colorful flames and sparks, children tend to wave the sparklers around, sometimes causing the falling sparks to land on their skin, burning a hole through their clothing, or even bumping into someone else nearby.
When deciding to use fireworks at home, make sure you follow these safety guidelines:
- Double check your local fireworks regulations and ordinances – In our local area, bottle rockets, roman candles, and any aerial type fireworks are illegal. (Town of Queen Creek – https://www.queencreekaz.gov/departments/public-safety/fireworks)
- Don’t point or throw fireworks at another person or animal
- When lighting fireworks, create a smooth, flat surface (constructed of non-combustible materials) to set the fireworks down on. Never light them in your hand.
- Don’t have any portion of your body leaning directly over the fireworks as you are lighting them
- Make sure that you move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting
- Never try to re-light or pick-up any fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- It is a good idea to keep a bucket filled with water, a garden hose, or even a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire. The bucket of water can also be used to soak duds and spent fireworks before discarding them. This is important to prevent trash fires.
Alternatives to Fireworks
Having a backyard 4th of July party and looking for family friendly activities that don’t involve fireworks? Here are some of our favorite alternatives to at-home fireworks:
- Glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark sunglasses, bracelets, necklaces, etc.
- Confetti poppers
- Silly string
- Colored streamers
- Noise makers
- Blowing bubbles
- Attend a local celebration with a professional fireworks display ( Hometown 4th at Schnepf Farms, Gilbert 4th of July Celebration, Hometown Fireworks at Apache Junction High School)
However you choose to spend your holiday weekend, we would love to hear about it! Drop your pictures below or tag us on social media.
‘Safety Nick’, as he is affectionately known, is the owner and operator of Home Hazard Prevention, LLC (HHP). As a professional firefighter in the Valley since 2005 with an extensive background in responding to and preventing emergencies, Nick felt that it was time to help the citizens of Maricopa and Pinal Counties learn how to be safe and protect their loved ones in a proactive manner. In 2012, HHP was launched. With the support of his wonderful (and understanding!) wife and two beautiful children, Nick works tireless hours, not only to help save your family’s lives, as a firefighter and a community safety expert, but also to be able to spend quality time with his family. Nick moved to Arizona over 20 years ago and enjoys exploring our great state with his family.
Be sure to contact Home Hazard Prevention for any of your personal or family safety needs. From mobile CPR training to car seat education to infant safety (and much more!) HHP is here to help! Remember, a complete safety program does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. As a group of professional firefighters, there is no one more qualified than us to help keep your family safe! (480) 448-0266 or Nick@HomeHazardPrevention.com
© HHP LLC 2012-2021