Fourth of July fireworks safety essentials

The Fourth of July is a holiday about history, community, family and fun. It's our nation's birthday--and one of the ways we celebrate this occasion is with a festive display of pyrotechnics in the night sky.

Maybe you're headed out to watch the professional show over the Detroit River this year. Or maybe you and your family have decided to put on a private display in your own backyard. If you're opting for the do-it-yourself version of fireworks this year, it's important to take the appropriate safety precautions. Thousands of people end up in the hospital each year due to amateur fireworks displays gone wrong.

In today's post, we provide the essentials of fireworks safety:

  • Before the show: Before starting your fireworks display, make sure you've cleared the area of any debris or flammable material. Fill two buckets with water, and have them on standby--in case of a fire. It's also smart to have a garden hose or fire extinguisher on hand.
  • During the show: Fireworks can behave unpredictably. It's important to wear goggles to protect your eyes while lighting fireworks. Always aim fireworks away from people, animals or structures. Make sure your party guests stand a safe distance away from you. Never let children operate fireworks. Only light one firework at a time, and never try to re-light a firework that doesn't go off the first time.
  • After the show: Any unused or "dud" fireworks pose a safety hazard--and it's important to dispose of these properly. Submerge these fireworks in a bucket of water overnight. The next day, while the fireworks are still wet, wrap them tightly in plastic so that they don't dry out. They are now safe to put in the trash.

Don't let your Fourth of July fireworks end in disaster. Follow these guidelines to help ensure you and your loved ones have a safe holiday.

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