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Consumer Safety: Practicing Firework Safety on July 4

Happy Independence Day! Do you have a stash of fireworks that you plan to set off after the sun goes down tonight? Every year, citizens all over the country purchase fireworks--both legally and illegally--to celebrate the July 4th holiday, and every year, more citizens are hurt or killed by the explosives.

We recently reported on one brand of fireworks recalled due to impact and burn hazards. "The shells can blow up in the tube during firing, posing impact and burn hazards to the user and bystanders."


Here are some tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

We often risk danger for a thrill, but using recalled fireworks for your 4th of July celebration is never a good idea. If you have purchased fireworks for your personal use this holiday, please be safe with them!

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