Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Tips

Fourth of July

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (In the public domain)

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, the day in which Americans commemorate the adoption of  the of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in which the Second Continental Congress formally declared independence from Great Britain.

The national holiday is celebrated each year with parades, barbecues, picnics, concerts and, of course, fireworks displays. When the sun goes down, many local communities and municipalities will host elaborate displays of bombastic flares and fireballs.

Fireworks Displays from Coast to Coast

The largest Fourth of July fireworks display in US history was held in New York City 2009, during which 22 tons of pyrotechnics were exploded.

Annual fireworks displays are also held each Independence Day on Chicago’s lakefront, in San Diego over Mission By, on the Charles River in Boston, on the Mississippi River near the St. Louis Gateway Arch, and over the Detroit River. That display is jointly sponsored by Michigan in conjunction with the Windsor, Ontario, celebration of Canada Day.

But perhaps the most famous July 4th fireworks are held over the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., where the elaborate display is accompanied by a full orchestra playing patriotic songs such as “The Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”. That event is preceded each year by a free concert that is televised national on public television.

Home Fireworks Use Regulated by States

Many Americans choose to celebrate the Fourth of July with their own fireworks, using firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, Roman candles and other widely available fireworks.

Laws regarding the use of fireworks by the public varies from state to state. Currently, 46 states and the District of Columbia allow legal “consumer” fireworks on the Fourth of July. But even in those states where they are not allowed, on July Fourth it’s often difficult for police to enforce these laws due to the wide use of fireworks by the general public.

Home Fireworks Safety Tips

If you are planning on using fireworks as part of your Independence Day celebration, please keep these safety rules in mind:

  • Always read and follow the directions on the labe
  • Have a working garden hose or bucket of water handy
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, flat, non-wooden area
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks
  • Keep everyone a safe distance away from fireworks
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers
  • Always have a sober adult in charge of all fireworks activities
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Don’t touch, throw, or combine fireworks
  • Never re-light fireworks
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks

Most importantly, have a happy and safe Fourth of July!


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