Heading into the summer season opens up opportunities for community celebrations, which can often include fireworks. Many people like to hold their own fireworks events but fail to realize that there are risks and dangers in this practice. It is critical to understand the risks, follow all safety guidelines and put safety procedures in place. This will ensure that your family and friends will enjoy a safe and exciting celebration.
Another thing to note before you organize a fireworks display is that you should ensure that you have the proper official approval in place and any required documentation or permits. Some states forbid individuals from using fireworks so do your homework first. Also, before holding your fireworks display, check with your local fire department for any fire regulations that you will need to follow.
Purchase fireworks from an authorized dealer and check that the fireworks you purchase are allowed to be sold in your area. There are three categories of firework explosives. Class A are common fireworks or consumer fireworks. Class B and C are special fireworks meant for fireworks display professionals only.
There are many precautions that you need to abide by for the safety of everyone. Before holding your fireworks display, ensure you have proper insurance coverage. If there are injuries and you are under-insured, the results could be devastating. Here are some guidelines:
- Fireworks should be locked up and stored in a cool dry place, away from children.
- Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Do not drink while setting them off.
- Read carefully and follow the directions on the fireworks.
- The display site should be clear and at least 100 feet by 100 feet. Ensure there are no trees, buildings or hydro lines on the site.
- Never hold fireworks in your hands when lighting them.
- Do not fire under windy conditions.
- Always have water nearby, either in pails or a hose connected to a water supply.
- A metal bucket filled with sand makes a good platform for lighting fireworks.
- Fireworks should be buried half their length in the bucket of sand unless the directions say otherwise.
- Angle the fireworks 10 degrees away from the audience and make sure the people are upwind from the display.
- Do not wear loose fitting clothing, including scarves or anything that may dangle into the fireworks.
- Children need to be monitored and supervised at all times during the fireworks display.
- Light one firework at a time and never experiment.
- When finished, soak them in water before disposing in a trash can.
- If any of the fireworks do not light, don’t try to fix them. Leave them for at least 30 minutes before soaking in a bucket of water.
- Wear eye protection when lighting the fireworks.
- In the unlikely event that someone gets burned, soak them with cold water and seek medical attention.