Fireworks come with many risks if not used properly, including injury and
fires. Many of these dangers can be avoided by taking appropriate steps
to prepare for emergencies and using fireworks safely. Always follow directions
and safety recommendations closely, and read these tips to learn what
else you can do to prevent firework-related accidents.
Make a Plan
Have a plan for how to handle your fireworks. Use them only in a clear
space away from buildings, trees, or other flammable objects. Have a fire
extinguisher on hand or a source of water, such as a hose or full bucket.
If necessary wet down surrounding areas to prevent sparks from igniting
the surrounding brush. Use appropriate safety equipment, such as gloves
and safety goggles to protect you from
burns when igniting fireworks. Plan to wait to drink alcohol until after you
are finished with the fireworks.
Check Your Insurance
Before you light the first wick, you should also check that your homeowner’s
insurance is up-to-date and will provide coverage. Coverage for fires
resulting from fireworks can vary. Some policies may not cover fireworks,
while others may only cover specific instances. Illegal fireworks typically
won’t be covered, but a stray spark igniting the leaves in your
gutter may be covered. Learn the details of your policy before you plan
to launch fireworks.
Only Use Fireworks in Appropriate Conditions
Fireworks should only be launched from a hard, clear, level surface to
prevent tipping. Keep flammable objects and spectators away from the launch
site. Launch only when the prevailing winds blow away from the people
watching to keep fireworks from falling on them. If you must, wait to
launch until the wind calms. Do not launch fireworks from locations that
have brush, trees, buildings, or other fire hazards nearby. Never launch
fireworks into containers, including bottles.
Store Fireworks Properly
Store fireworks in a cool, dark, dry location that is away from buildings
or other flammable materials. Never keep them inside, and do not store
them in bulk. Keep them out of reach of children and pets, as well. Never
carry fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers, or other similar devices in a pocket.
When you are storing and disposing of fireworks, follow local laws. Used
fireworks can still ignite if exposed to heat. To prevent accidents, thoroughly
soak used fireworks in water and store them in a sealed metal trash can.
This can prevent stray sparks or other sources of heat from igniting used
fireworks and causing an accident.
Never Use Damaged Fireworks
Damaged fireworks can be unpredictable and can cause injuries. If a shell
is damaged, dispose of it properly and don’t ignite it. Wet, damaged,
or “dud” fireworks can
backfire, causing injury. If a dud occurs, clear the area for 20 minutes. If nothing
happens, carefully submerge the firework in a bucket of water and allow
it to soak.
Be sure to properly prepare all fireworks according to the directions to
prevent mishaps. Never jam a shell into a launch tube if it doesn’t
fit. This can damage the shell, and a shell that doesn’t fit can
become stuck and not launch properly. Do not alter fireworks except as
directed by instructions.
Follow Laws and Common Sense
Follow your local laws regarding fireworks to stay safe and out of legal
trouble, and also use some common sense. If the weather or location doesn’t
permit safe launches, don’t ignite fireworks. When lighting fireworks,
keep the shell away from your body and never lean over them. Maintain
at least 20 feet of distance between spectators and small fireworks, and
keep a greater distance for larger displays. Obtain any necessary permits
required by your area before your celebrations. Laws can help you use
fireworks legally, but you will have to judge if the situation is safe
as well as legal.
Fireworks can be fun, but they aren’t toys. Use caution when setting
them off and be sure to observe all safety guidelines. Be prepared for
an emergency, such as a fire. You may not be able to account for every
occurrence, but preparing for things to go wrong will allow you to act
quickly and prevent further damage.
Many fires and firework-related accidents are preventable with appropriate
precautions. If you are injured by another person’s careless use
of fireworks, you may be able to file a claim. Our
Denver personal injury attorneys are dedicated to recovering your justly deserved compensation, and we
have won millions of dollars for our clients.
Contact Jordan Law today to schedule a
free case evaluation.