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July 4th Fireworks Safety Starts with Common Sense Tips

Washington, D.C. – Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues, and parades on Main Street.  And it is equally safe if a few common sense rules are followed, says Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety.  Nancy notes that thanks to testing of consumer fireworks in China, through the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and other testing programs, and rigorous enforcement of federal fireworks regulations by the CPSC, consumer fireworks today are safer than ever before.  But, Nancy notes that fireworks related accidents do occur each year, however, most could be eliminated if some basic safety steps had been taken.

firework photo

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season:

  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks.  Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department
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…and note these special safety tips, if using sparklers:

  • Always remain standing while 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 wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
  • Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.

To help your child enjoy the 4th without becoming anxious:

  • Choose which activities will work best for your family. Attending the morning events, followed by giving your child a break may help.
  • Limit the “red, white and blue” delectables that are usually full of sugar and artificial coloring.
  • Youtube can be a great source of videos to prepare kids for the overwhelming sounds.
  • Consider holding a patriotic family or small group barbecue, or a picnic in your own home where it’s easy for your child to find a comfortable separate space if they need quiet time. Watch the Macy’s fireworks celebration in your living room.
  • If you do go to a larger event, bring noise reducing headphones for your sensitive child.
  • Set expectations ahead of time: let your child know how long the parade, party or fireworks will be.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges Americans to follow these common sense safety rules this Fourth of July in their holiday celebrations.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose sole mission is to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks.  For a full list of consumer fireworks safety tips and a safety video, please visit

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