How to Be Safe With Fireworks

Fireworks are fun to launch, and even more fun to watch! But firework safety is crucial before you launch any firework.


  1. 1
    Forbid young children to handle fireworks. Be sure older children are properly supervised.
  2. 2
    Set off fireworks only when sober and alert.
  3. 3
    Allow no one to aim, point or throw fireworks, including Roman Candles at another person. Don't use fireworks as weapons.
  4. 4
    Wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks, or when you are in proximity to someone lighting fireworks.
  5. 5
    Use only legal fireworks. Shop only at public fireworks stands licensed to sell fireworks.
  6. 6
    Follow laws controlling the use of fireworks.
  7. 7
    Set off fireworks in clear, open areas with no overhead obstructions. Check the area ahead of time, during daylight hours.
  8. 8
    Keep your head and body away from the top of the rocket or shell. Never look into a tube if a shell fails to ignite. Don't hold lighted fireworks in your hand. Light just one shell, rocket or firecracker at a time.
  9. 9
    Light fireworks with a punk, torch, flare or extended butane lighter. Light the fuse only at the very tip. If you are igniting fireworks in the dark, use a flashlight or other non-flammable light source so you can see clearly.
  10. 10
    Always use fireworks outdoors. Using them indoors is dangerous.
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    Do not hold lit fireworks in your hand. Don't attempt to launch bottle rockets, light and throw firecrackers, etc. It's foolish and dangerous.
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    Have a hose or bucket of water on hand. Always have water on hand for explosives gone awry. Dump water on chain explosives. Always dump water on Roman candles, firecrackers, etc. Even after they have gone off, the smoldering firecrackers still present a fire hazard. They should be left to soak outdoors in a bucket of cold water, and disposed of carefully the next day.
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    Stand back from all fireworks once they are lit.
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    Keep spectators away from the ignition area and upwind of the fireworks display. For example, if the winds are northerly, position the spectators to the north of the launch area and the fireworks' path of trajectory. Don't light fireworks during strong winds.
  15. 15
    Check to make sure launch tubes are dry and undamaged. Never force a shell into a tube. Insert the shell's flat end to the bottom of the tube. Move at least 20 feet (6.1 m) back from the launch tube after ignition. After igniting one shell, wait at least 30 seconds before lighting another.
  16. 16
    Take care when lighting fireworks around animals, as they may be startled by fire and explosions.
  17. 17
    Keep fireworks in a cool, dry place until you're ready to use them.
  18. 18
    Never attempt to re-ignite a dud. This is a big no-no, so please don't do it.


  • Know your state laws. Some states don't have any restrictions on fireworks, some only allow fireworks that are below a certain height, and some states don't allow fireworks at all.
  • It is polite to set off fireworks away from residential or high-occupancy areas. Fireworks can cause severe problems for people with PTSD (and other anxiety issues), and can scare off people's pets. This is especially true if you are setting off fireworks on a day people don't generally expect (and thus prepare for) fireworks.


  • Sparklers are dangerous and burn extremely hot. Do not let unsupervised children use them. Always douse them in a bucket of water when they are done.
  • Fireworks are illegal in some states without a license.
  • Be careful not to drop fireworks. And please don't carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • M-80s and so called, "quarter sticks" are dangerous items and are classified as bombs, not fireworks. Please don't use these, as you risk serious injuries if you do, not to mention the serious crime of just possessing one. Click here for more information.
  • It is a violation of federal law to carry fireworks onto an airplane.
  • Do not make or use homemade fireworks, and don't alter legal fireworks in any way.
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke around fireworks.
  • Do not allow anyone to use any type of fireworks indoors.

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Categories: Fireworks