Fireworks and Fire Safety Tips

Fireworks and Fire Safety Tips

More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year... So, as you prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence by enjoying the nice warm weather, boating, barbecuing, or enjoying some fireworks you also need to prepare for fire safety.

Fireworks are a lot of fun, but they pose a great risk of fire and injury. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average fireworks start 18,500 fires each year. These fires include an estimated 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires, ultimately leading to an average of $43 million in direct property damages.

The fires and damages from fireworks are tragic, but the injuries to people are also severe. In 2017 U.S. hospital emergency rooms reported approximately 12,900 firework related injuries. And of these injuries, 54% were to extremities, like arms and legs, and 36% to the head.

See the devastating results of one fire from fireworks here: 

Avoid fire damages and the emergency room this year by following some firework safety tips:

  1. Always make sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing or using them.
  2. Do not allow young children to play with fireworks or ignite them.
  3. Older children should have adult supervision when playing with fireworks.
  4. Keep pets safely in the house and away from fireworks.
  5. Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  6. Do not position any part of your body over fireworks while lighting the fuse.
  7. Immediately back up to a safe distance after lighting the fuse.
  8. Do not re-light or pick-up fireworks that have malfunctioned or not ignited fully.
  9. Do not light any fireworks while indoors, this even includes smoke bombs and sparklers.
  10. Use fireworks in a safe location away from other people, structures, and flammable materials.
  11. Only light one firework at a time.
  12. If you are igniting fireworks, or standing nearby, wear protective eyewear.
  13. Do not ignite fireworks in containers, this includes metal and glass.
  14. When transporting fireworks, never carry them in your pocket.
  15. When fireworks are done burning, use water from a bucket or hose to wet thoroughly before discarding.
  16. Before discarding unused fireworks, fill a bucket with water and soak them for a few hours.

When using fireworks of any kind, keep a fire extinguisher like STOP-FYRE nearby. We recommend keeping your extinguisher within 6 seconds of your reach because every 10 seconds the fire doubles in size, and within just 30-60 seconds a fire can grow out of control. That’s why it’s so important to make sure everyone is prepared on where the extinguisher is located and how to properly use it before a fire emergency occurs.

To properly use STOP-FYRE it’s simple, in fact it’s so simple even a 4-year old can do it! Here is how to use STOP-FYRE:

  1. Hold it upright and remove the pin.
  2. Stand back, approximately 6 feet, and aim at the base of the fire.
  3. Pull the trigger and use short targeted bursts to put the fire out.

See how others use STOP-FYRE, check out the action here:  

If you’re still worried about the potential dangers of fireworks, don’t sweat it, go to a public firework display instead! However, if you attend a public show, make sure to obey any safety barriers and stay away from the launching site. If there is any debris from the fireworks, please be cautious. The debris could still be “live” and hot.

No matter how you choose to celebrate this 4th of July, we hope you do so safely and consider adding a fire extinguisher to your safety supplies. Because unfortunately, a fire is not a matter of if, but when.