Be Safe This Weekend: Tips from the FireFamily

If you live in an American neighborhood like ours, chances are that some Schmuck was setting off fireworks in your neighborhood this past weekend even though the 4th of July isn’t until this Friday. Perhaps they were a week ahead on their calendars? And perhaps they forgot that the only fireworks that are legal in our state are sparklers, trick noisemakers and other novelty items. (That means nothing that launches into the sky and goes boom!)

Our Sparklers from Last Year!The truth is that many people know that the fireworks they are “playing with” are not legal in their state. They know that they are dangerous. But they think its fun. Do these statistics sound fun?

Between June 18 and July 18, 2005, firecrackers (26%), sparklers (17%), and rockets (17%) accounted for most of the injuries seen in emergency departments. Sparklers were associated with over half of the estimated injuries among children under 5 years, during the same time period (Greene & Joholske 2006).


And that’s some of the legal stuff! Consumer fireworks aren’t “toys” even though they’re marketed in bright packages that are appealing to children. They shouldn’t be treated as such. A few tips that I think every family should know before going into this weekend:

  1. NEVER let very young children play with fireworks. Even sparklers can ignite clothing as they are such a high heat. (More on sparklers. Trust me. Read it.)
  2. Check to see what is legal (and not) in your state. (Also on an easy to read map.)
  3. If you’re still going to set off fireworks, make sure you’re in an open area, that your town/city isn’t under a Burn Ban due to drought (do you really want to set your own roof on fire?) and have a bucket of water nearby to douse any accidental fires.
  4. Make sure all children (and adults) are wearing shoes. Stepping on hot embers can cause serious burns.
  5. Teach your children the seriousness of burns and explosions.
  6. Have a cell phone nearby to call for emergency help if someone is seriously injured or a fire quickly gets out of control.

I don’t mean to rain on your 4th of July picnic fun. But I also don’t want to see children or adults harmed by what the assume is legal and harmless fun. Fire is fire and fire can be dangerous. Learning what is and is not legal in your state, teaching yourself and your child about proper safety precautions and acting in a responsible manner can keep your family out of the Emergency Room this weekend and back at your own home where you should be having safe fun.

Or, better yet, go to a professional display. Save the danger for the guys that kid paid the big bucks.


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7 Replies to “Be Safe This Weekend: Tips from the FireFamily”

  1. everything is illegal in the state of new york. but i have sparklers that made their way to me via new hampshire. don’t call the cops!

  2. The earlier they are taught, the better it is. Besides, let the professionals do it since the dispaly is always so much better and safer! We attend the display held at Groton near the sub base in CT which is always fun since the pait Sailfest with it. Thanks for the safety post!

  3. Our local display is within walking distance from our house! Sure beats parking drama! (That said, we won’t be going since its well after the boys’ bedtimes and, darn it, the trees are too high between our house and the Park to catch a view. Bummer.) Enjoy the 4th safely!

  4. I am dreading Friday night. Last year, someone who lives nearby was setting off fireworks for A WEEK before AND after the 4th. Never mind that they’re illegal in this state and we live in a residential, urban (read: houses close together) neighborhood. I do NOT want the same wanker keeping me, my husband, and our son awake all night on Friday, especially since we’re leaving early Saturday morning to go out of town.


  5. Ah yes, our neighbors (the one we like, even) set off fireworks the first year we lived here on midnight New Years Eve/Day and woke ME up. Thankfully they didn’t wake BB up. I woulda put the smack down and called the Fire Department (FireDad was working that night) had they waken the baby!

  6. Sparklers aren’t even legal here, yet we have 5 firework stands within a 10 mile radius. Of course, this means that we too have things popping and going boom all around us the week leading up to, and following, the 4th of July.

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