One of my fondest childhood memories revolves around fireworks. Because my mom, brother and I lived just outside the city limits, fireworks were legal in our neighborhood–and we took full advantage every year. After pillaging the area fireworks tents to ensure we got the most bang for our buck (pun intended!), we’d race home and spread our loot on tables, where we’d commence bartering to ensure we each had the perfect stash. My brother preferred explosives, of course, while I loved things that moved and sparkled: hens laying eggs, tanks, sparklers, blooming flowers — you get the drift.
Now that we’re in the week leading up to our nation’s birthday, this is an ideal time for a brief fireworks safety review, especially if you live in an area that allows fireworks and you’re planning your own pyrotechnic display. Most of the tips are common sense, but they bear repeating so that you don’t make the horrible mistake that I did one year. In an attempt to be daring, I closed several fingers around the just-extinguished tip of my metal sparkler. I ended up with a few painful burns that made the rest of the holiday a miserable experience. Smart, huh?
Fireworks Safety Tips
*The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends having water nearby, whether it’s a hose or a bucket.
*If you end up with a dud firework, don’t try to relight it. Instead, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
*Don’t try to alter or combine fireworks. Use as intended.
*Soak all spent fireworks in water before placing them in an outdoor trashcan for disposal.
*Don’t drink and shoot!
*Don’t hold fireworks as they’re going off. It might be tempting to hold a Roman Candle once it’s ignited, but secure it in the ground or on a stand and then step back after it’s lit.
Whatever you have planned for the Fourth, be safe and have fun!