Fourth of July Fun: Fireworks Safety

Noble McIntyre on June 30, 2015

Fireworks Photo Source

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.

Know the Fireworks Laws in Oklahoma

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.

Fireworks and Kids

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.

Fireworks Safety Tips

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.

  • Don’t purchase fireworks packaged in plain brown paper. Often, these are fireworks designed for professional displays and they could be dangerous for at-home use.
  • When lighting a firework, don’t place any part of your body directly over the explosive. Light, and then immediately back up to a safe distance away.
  • Do not re-light fireworks that are “duds” or did not fully ignite. Put them out with water as you would with any other firework and discard them safely. Light only one firework at a time.
  • Do not point fireworks in the direction of any other person.
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothes when lighting fireworks.
  • Do not light fireworks near dry grass or shrubs. Be sure that you aim away from homes, brush, leaves or other flammable material.
  • Always have a bucket of water or a hose immediately available when handling fireworks.
  • Be sure to thoroughly soak each firework in water before discarding completed fireworks. If left smoldering, they could cause a trash fire.

  • Do not carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them into metal or glass containers.

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!

Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Fire Protection Association
National Council on Fireworks Safety

Noble McIntyre

Noble McIntyre is the senior partner and owner of McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on drug litigation and catastrophic injury cases. He is currently representing clients injured by the drugs Paxil, Levaquin and testosterone therapy drugs and by clients affected by oil field injuries. His goal has and continues to be to work diligently on behalf of his clients to achieve the highest and best result for his clients’ injuries while maintaining professionalism and abiding by all ethical standards of his profession. Read more about Noble McIntyre.

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