Around the Fourth of July, we get a big bang out of fireworks. But without proper storage and handling of fireworks, your Independence Day fun could fizzle.
In 2013, eight people died and an estimated 11,400 people were injured in fireworks-related incidents around the country, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Nearly two-thirds of the injuries happened in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July.
According to IBISWorld, 46 states allow the sale of fireworks to consumers, up from 43 in 2010. The market research company predicts sales of fireworks to consumers will skyrocket to $710 million during this Fourth of July season, up from an estimated $590 million in 2010.
So with more sales possibly leading to more injuries, how can we properly handle and store fireworks?
How to Store Fireworks
The best way to store fireworks is in a secure and dry place. You want to make sure that children cannot access the storage location and that the area is free from any moisture or igniting materials. Even if they’re in a sealed container, which is recommended, keep in mind most storage facilities do not allow you to store fireworks in your storage unit.
- As a general rule, don’t store fireworks in a self-storage unit. Storage facilities typically ban fireworks and other explosives.
- Store fireworks in a cool dry place that’s away from children. Make sure small kids can’t reach the fireworks.
- Keep your fireworks dry. Don’t light fireworks that have become wet.
- Keep unused fireworks in a closed container and upwind from the place you are lighting your fireworks.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Don’t shoot off fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Don’t let young children play with or ignite fireworks—even seemingly harmless sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures around 2,000 degrees.
- Make sure an adult is nearby if older children are handling fireworks.
- Don’t handle or relight or malfunctioning fireworks. Instead, soak them with water and throw them away.
- Don’t point or throw fireworks at someone else.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose at the ready in case of fire or another type of mishap involving your fireworks.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
- After fireworks are done burning, douse the them with lots of water from a bucket or hose before getting rid of them.
- Wear proper clothing when you use fireworks. This includes cotton or denim clothing, long pants, eye protection, covered shoes and ear protection (for bottle rockets and other loud fireworks).
- Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs when you’re using fireworks. Doing so will impede your judgment.
- Consider the direction of the wind and wind speed when setting off fireworks. Never light fireworks if the wind is too strong.
Post updated by SpareFoot, 1/30/2017.