Noble McIntyre on June 30, 2015
Are you getting geared up for a holiday weekend of barbecues, friends, family and fun? At McIntyre Law, we’re all about fun… but we also know that it’s important to be safe. No holiday is a good one when it ends in a trip to the ER (or worse). For lots of people, the hallmark of a great Independence Day is the traditional fireworks display. You might be planning to sit back, relax and enjoy the show put on by your town or community. But, lots of people decide to bring the festivities home with them by setting off their own fireworks right in their backyards, at campsites or wherever they happen to be. If that’s the case, there are several fireworks safety precautions that you should keep in mind, to keep the holiday safe and fun for all.
First things, first: It is illegal to sell, possess or discharge fireworks in the majority of Oklahoma cities and metropolitan areas. Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon do not allow fireworks. If you are outside those cities, check your locality’s laws to see if and when fireworks are permitted.
Kids should not be playing with fireworks, and they especially should not be playing with them unsupervised. Period. Even firecrackers, rockets and sparklers can be very dangerous for a child. If you do give a child a sparkler, be sure that it is outside and that the child will hold it away from his face, clothes and hair. A sparkler can be up to 1,800 °F, which is hot enough to melt gold.
Remember, a child’s arms are shorter than yours, so he won’t be able to hold a sparkler as far away from his face and body as an adult could. You could purchase glow sticks, glow necklaces or wands for children. They light up, which will thrill a small child, and they are completely safe.
Don’t allow children to “clean up” after an at-home fireworks display. The pieces of fireworks on the ground can still be ignited and could still explode after the firework has been detonated.
If you’re determined to create your own fireworks show, there are several things you should do to keep yourself, your audience and your property safe from harm.
Be sure to thoroughly soak each firework in water before discarding completed fireworks. If left smoldering, they could cause a trash fire.
As with anything that is potentially dangerous or that requires your full attention, refrain from consuming alcohol when using fireworks. Also, be sure that no one is smoking or discarding cigarette butts near fireworks, used or new.
Have a safe, fun Fourth of July!