Fireworks Safety Tips
Before lighting fireworks:
- Always know your product. Before lighting an effect, make sure you know what it will do when you light it.
- Store all of your fireworks in a closed container until you are ready to light them. The container should preferably be a lockable wooden box.
- Place fireworks on a level surface away from any combustible materials.
- You should only purchase legal fireworks from approved vendors.
- Before lighting fireworks, place any pets indoors. They can become easily frightened by the noise and the effect.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to place used fireworks.
- Have a water hose and a fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish any stray sparks.
- Know the emergency contact number for emergency services in your area (like 9-1-1), the address or location you are igniting fireworks and basic first aid.
When lighting fireworks:
- Have a designated adult light fireworks.
- Always use eye protection when lighting fireworks such as safety goggles.
- Only light one effect at a time. Once lit, move away quickly and keep a safe distance.
- Only use fireworks outdoors and away from anything that can burn.
- To prevent injuries, never throw fireworks and never hold them in your hand.
- Clean up all debris when finished. Leave the area in better condition then when you found it.
- Duds can be dangerous. Place them in a bucket of water to soak.
- If a device does not ignite, leave it alone for at least five minutes and approach it carefully.
- Fireworks can be very hot after they burn. Let them cool down before handling them.
- Place all fireworks in a bucket of water to soak.
- When handling a firework that hs recently burned, grab it from the base when placing it in water.
A note on M-80's, cherry bombs and similar devices
They go by a variety of names. M-80's, M-100's, cherry bombs, tennis ball bombs, it goes on. They all have one thing in common. They are completely illegal in the United States and Canada and very dangerous in every way, shape and form. If you value your quality of life, avoid these devices at all cost.
The reason is simple. Unlike firecrackers, fountains, bottle rockets and other pyrotechnic devices, the above fireworks are illegal. Since they are illegal, there is no quality control involved in the devices. All 1.4 (class C) and 1.3 g (class B), have to meet safety guidelines on how fast the fuse can burn, the amount of pyrotechnic composition used, and types of material. M-80's, cherry bombs, etc do not follow any safety guidelines. You have no guarantee how fast the fuse will burn, the amount of pyrotechnic material, used, nothing. You might light the first fuse with no problems, but one quick fuse and the next thing you know, you are missing a hand.
If you really want to play with things that go bang in the night, study to become a licensed pyrotechnic operator. The explosions will be bigger, the effects more incredible and far safer.
Written by Wally Glenn
Edited by Neil Carlberg, Maque Da Vis and Daniel Walsh.