Safety tips for shooting fireworks this Fourth of July

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 3:15 PM CDT
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By Carly Blake | June 29, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT - Updated June 29 at 10:28 PM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Fourth of July holiday is typically filled with BBQ’s, family fun and of course fireworks.

There are several things you need to keep in mind when celebrating with fireworks.

“I’m an EMT by profession,” said Bonanaza Fireworks co-owner Tim Wilks. “I’ve seen people that didn’t take the necessary precautions.”

Wilks has some ways you can stay safe while shooting fireworks this year.

“Once you light them, back away,” Wilks said. “Just lay them out. If they go out or there a dud, don’t go out and pick it up because it could explode on you.”

Wilks says to make sure you are wearing protective hand gear when handling the fireworks.

“Especially if you’ve got small children, sparklers can get up to 18 hundred degrees,” Wilks said. “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put gloves on to keep from burning.”

Wilks also says to not shoot fireworks off in cans or glass and especially not in your hands.

“I’ve seen fingers blown off, hands blown off and serious burns, things like that,” Wilks said. “The main thing is just to have fun but be careful.”

Also be sure to not point or aim fireworks at another person and make sure you’re in an open area when firing.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, here are some other safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

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