Firework displays have been a pivotal part of Independence Day celebrations since most can remember. Although fireworks are fun, they can be quite dangerous as well.
Fire safety personnel recommend staying as far away as possible; leave it up to the professionals.
However, if the allure to light one off yourself is too great, be sure to follow a few precautions.
Matt Maguire, Deputy Fire Chief of Lower Merion Township, gave NBC Philadelphia a few tips that can help keep revelers safe if they do decide to get their lighters out:
- Only light off fireworks that are legal in Pennsylvania
- Follow all instructions on the package
- When lighting a firework, never have it in your hand. Keep the firework on the ground away from shrubbery, trees and buildings.
- Never let a child light off a firework. Participants should be at least 18 years old.
- Make sure to soak all fireworks in a bucket of water after use; some devices burn at 2000 degrees or more.
- Always have a hose or bucket of water handy.
- Never light off fireworks if you have been drinking alcohol.
The National Council on Firework Safety also has some “common sense” recommendations that you should be aware of:
- Never set off fireworks indoors
- Never attempt to light/make homemade fireworks
- Never attempt to relight a “dud” firework
Safety officials invite us to celebrate, but safety is their number one concern.