Fireworks can add an air of festiveness to any summertime shindig. From family picnics to backyard barbecues, an eye-catching firework display can be the perfect endcap to a full day of fun. However, while fireworks are understandably associated with good times, they should be operated with the utmost of caution. Failing to prioritize safety when setting off fireworks can result in a host of undesirable consequences, like property damage, serious injury or worse. In the interest of keeping your summertime firework displays incident-free, make a point of avoiding the following mistakes.
Being Under the Influence
Setting off fireworks under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is always ill-advised. These substances are known to impair judgment, and lighting fireworks while suffering from impaired judgment is unlikely to work out well for you. So, if alcohol consumption and fireworks are intrinsically linked in your brain, it’s way past time to correct your thinking.
Alcohol is a common presence at barbecues, parties and various other summertime gatherings, and for many people, resisting the temptation to drink at such events can prove extremely difficult. However, if you’ve been placed in charge of setting off fireworks, you’ll need to bite the bullet and stay dry. If you truly don’t believe you’re up to the task, consider appointing someone else as honorary firework master. The ideal candidate must meet two important qualifications: previous experience with fireworks and a willingness to not consume drugs or alcohol.
Allowing Children to Handle Fireworks
There’s little wonder as to why so many children are drawn to fireworks. After all, they’re loud, pretty and conducive to fun. As such, it’s easy to see why kids are always champing at the bit to get their hands on fireworks. However, even if your kids are reasonably responsible, they should never be allowed to handle fireworks.
One moment of negligence or one simple oversight is all it takes for the festivities to take an abrupt turn. There’s a good chance that your kids will give you flack for not being able to shoot off fireworks, but at the end of the day, their safety outweighs them being upset with you. As is the case with many other things in life, they’ll understand when they’re older.
Buying Unsafe Fireworks
When shopping around for the right fireworks, take care to limit your options to products that come from companies with track records of safety. Even if certain fireworks seem like a great deal, make sure to do a little research to determine how safe they are. Additionally, confirm that the fireworks you’re purchasing aren’t meant for professional displays, as these are not intended for private use. So, the next time you set out to buy fireworks online, make sure to do your homework before committing to purchase. You should also brush up any state and local firework laws in advance of placing an order.
Attempting to Re-light Fireworks
As anyone who’s shot off their share of fireworks can attest, you’re bound to get your fair share of duds. While it’s always disappointing when a firework fails to ignite as planned, it is imperative that you avoid re-lighting fireworks. In some cases, a dud may not actually be a dud, and you’ll wind up taking a direct hit. Additionally, take care to douse any duds – as well as any other used fireworks – with water before proceeding to dispose of them.
Failing to Keep Your Distance
As soon as a firework has been lit, you’d be wise to put as much distance between it and yourself as possible. Furthermore, don’t place any part of yourself directly over fireworks when lighting them. For maximum safety, make sure that anyone else present is standing a safe distance away from the action. This will help prevent anyone from getting hurt in the event that a firework malfunctions.
Fireworks are a common presence at virtually every type of summertime gathering. From professional functions to block parties to casual get-togethers, fireworks are an undeniable summer staple for many Americans – and it isn’t hard to see why! They’re fun, they’re eye-catching and they’re affordable on virtually any budget. Unfortunately, in the absence of the proper precautions, fireworks can prove quite dangerous. Luckily, practicing proper firework safety is far from difficult. Avoiding the blunders discussed above can be a boon to your firework safety efforts and pave the way for a season full of good times.