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NFA Tips to Celebrate Safely and Responsibly with Fireworks

For years, Americans across the country have added fireworks to their celebrations as they commemorate our Nation’s independence or other special occasions. For years, government regulations and voluntary standards of the fireworks industry have ensured these celebrations are done in a manner that is safe regardless of age.

The following are tips from the National Fireworks Association on how to enjoy your fireworks in a safe and responsible manner that can help prevent injury.

Safety Goggles
  • Always use a designated shooter. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

  • Only purchase fireworks from licensed fireworks retailers and dealers.

  • Obey all laws including local regarding where fireworks can be legally fired.  If you’re not sure what the local ordinances are pertaining to fireworks, you can check with your nearest fire station or call the appropriate agencies with your city or county. Some local media also publish local ordinances as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.

  • A responsible adult should be present at all times. Unsupervised children should never use fireworks.

  • Secure long hair back away from face.
  • Wear Safety Glasses. Safety glasses can help prevent injuries to your eyes and face, particularly when dealing with fountains and aerial fireworks.

  • Always wear shoes when lighting fireworks. Shoes can help protect your feet from the discharge radius. And if a firework doesn’t work properly, you should never step on it.

  • Never try to relight a dud firework.

  • Carefully read all safety instructions on the fireworks label and follow the instructions exactly.
  • Always “block and brace” fireworks to minimize the risk of them tipping over. This adds increased safety and is a good additional precaution.

  • Never try to alter a product, use as directed. Fireworks are manufactured to discharge a certain way and tampering with them can cause unintended consequences and lead to potential severe bodily injury and death.

Bucket of Water
  • Use fireworks only outdoors and away from structures. This includes houses, cars, and plants.

  • Only light one item at a time. Proper care should be taken to ensure other unused fireworks are not near the fuse and discharge of the one you’re trying to light. 

  • Always have a hose or bucket of water nearby. The best way to defuse a firework is water.

  • Never try to make homemade fireworks.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people. 

  • Never hold and light fireworks in your hand unless that are designed to be held (i.e. sparklers) 

  • Remember to protect your pets by putting them in a safe low noise area. Fireworks may cause great anxiety in pets, particularly dogs. It’s best to keep them sheltered from fireworks. 

  • Dispose of your used fireworks in a metal trashcan with a lid.  Never place in garage or near a house. Fireworks are never meant to be saved and should not be stored in a closed structure like a house, closet or garage.  You can either light them, or dispose of them in a trash can. You can also check with your local fire department to see if they offer programs to dispose of unused or dud fireworks.

Following these simple safety tips in a responsible manner can help ensure your celebration and the people you’re celebrating with are safe.