firework safety tips

Fireworks, Flags and Fanfare – keep the sparkle in your celebrations

It’s time to hoist the flag and celebrate our independence from the British Empire and the birth of a nation. And what would Independence Day be without fireworks?  But before you break out the sparklers and the Roman Candles here are some important considerations to make sure you keep it safe for everyone in your family.

They’re spectacular, but fireworks are also very dangerous.

Last year 11,000 firework-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms across our nation. The fast majority of those injuries, 7,600, occurred around July 4th states a report from Consumer Products Safety Commission and National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Are fireworks legal in Tucson?

There was a time when you had to travel to legally purchase and use fireworks, but in 2014 Senate Bill 1158 required Pima and Maricopa cities and towns to allow the sale and use of ground fireworks around July 4th and New Year’s Day. So yes, fireworks can be legally bought and used in Tucson, but with significant limitations. Check this informational sheet to make sure you know which fireworks are legal here in Tucson. 

We asked Jessica Mitchell, Safe Kids Pima County Coordinator, for her firework safety tips this Independence Day.

“We know fireworks are fun and young kids look adorable holding those sparklers. Unfortunately, fireworks can cause serious injuries to children, including devastating burns and other injuries. The best way to keep your children safe is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure to follow the tips below to keep your kids as safe as possible.”

1. Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

2. Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

Yes they’re legal, but little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees! How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

(The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) stats from the Fourth of July festivities in 2014 indicated sparklers were involved in a majority of fireworks-related injuries sustained by children under 5 years of age.)

3. Take Necessary Precautions

  • Always have a bucket of water, hose and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks and protect your eyes with safety googles.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances (at this time of year and considering how dry it is, this should dissuade most of us.)

4. Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

For more information on fire safety and more visit Safe Kids WorldWide.