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Sparklers, fireworks and other small, colorful explosives define Independence Day. In some states (DE, MA, NJ, NY and RI) consumers are not allowed to buy or use fireworks at all, while in remaining states a variety of laws and restrictions may moderate their use. If you and your friends and family are planning to celebrate July 4th with glimmering fireworks of your own, be smart about it.
The fireworks you buy at pop-up stands can provide safe fun if everyone simply follows a few common sense rules. For the most part, today’s fireworks (even those made in China) have been tested through the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and other testing programs, rigorously enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Follow these basic safety steps from the National Council on Fireworks Safety to enjoy your Independence Day celebration safely.
- TEENS: It’s tempting, but don’t use fireworks when an adult isn’t around. And never use fireworks indoors. Ever.
- Light fireworks away from buildings, plants and any combustible material. Don’t light them under trees.
- Always have water ready when you shoot fireworks.
- Know what you’re about to light. Read the caution label and instructions before you ignite the fuse.
- Don’t lean any part of your body over fireworks while lighting them. Yes, you’ll put an eye out – or worse!
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, don’t use them.
- Ideally, wear safety glasses when you set off fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud.” If it doesn’t light, wait 15 - 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before throwing it in the trash.
- Also soak spent fireworks in water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
- If you see someone using illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, call the fire or police department.
- Don’t let young children handle fireworks.
- Always stand when using sparklers.
- Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
- Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
- Never throw sparklers.
- Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Do not wave sparklers or run while holding sparklers.
- Buy only enough fireworks for the day you’ll use them and don’t store unlit ones. If you must store them for a day or two, place them in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.
Happy Independence Day from all of us at USAF FitFamily!
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