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How Do I Keep My Kids Safe With Fireworks?  Basic Firework Safety

How Do I Keep My Kids Safe With Fireworks? Basic Firework Safety
July 06, 2016

Independence Day may be over, however here in Utah our citizens are well aware that on July 24th, there will be a celebration equal to that of our July 4th celebrations...and it will involve the same pageantry, picnics and of course, fireworks.  So since we want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday, we are sharing what we call 'Firework Safety 101.'

Now we know you know how dry it is in Utah and so we aren't going to waste time telling you about how fireworks and carelessness combined can (and have in the past) caused acres upon acres of brush fire damage--we are here rather to give you 10 firework safety tips so that your kids will be safe when setting off fireworks this Pioneer Day weekend.

1.  Know the firework you are about to ignite.  This is SO important and most times kids (and parents alike) just grab the matches and light the thing without reading it!  The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges everyone using fireworks to read and understand the label on the firework.  This ensures that you know what to expect (and WHERE the safest place is to place it) as well as understanding those performance descriptions before igniting.  For example, you don't want to set something that shoots sparks 20' into the air when it is placed under your tree or roof, so read and illuminate yourself before igniting!

2. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.  Believe it or not, there is a very, very slight possibility they can 'go off' due to friction or just getting too warm.  Always keep fireworks stored and carried in a metal container AND keep them in a cool place.

3.  Little Arms Don't Like Fireworks.  It may make the perfect cute lil' photo for your social media with your darling child holding a sparkler as it spouts sparks...and erupts fire.  But despite 'Sparklers' being somewhat benign they can be dangerous and especially for little kids.  These thin sticks can heat up to an astonishing 1,200 degrees and burn for several seconds, which is a very long time.

To get a sense of what 1,200 degrees is--well that is enough to melt glass!  So make sure your child's arms are long enough and can keep these fountains of heat far enough away from them, or opt for a cool glowstick instead!  And those never run out of producing light but are much safer for little children. 

...and remember once that Sparkler is 'out' remove the temptation of a child touching it as they are still molten hot for minutes afterwards.

4.  Never hold the firework on your head, or tuck it in a funny place to set it off.  Of course it goes without saying that placing a firework in your pants or holding on your head, or some other silly idea puts you in danger.  

It may seem funny.  It may seem like you or your kids would never do something like this, however people do forget and injury and death can occur.  It is tragic, but it seems like every years there is a 22-year-old man who is killed instantly when he lit a firework on his head.  Be safe and use common sense and remind your kids to do the same.

5.  There should always be an adult present.  And not only that, but there should be a responsible adult overseeing your holiday fireworks.  A sober, intelligent adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never just give fireworks to children and tell them to 'have fun out there.'  Be responsible and avoid a trip to the hospital.

6.  Never Fiddle With A Dud.  If the firework fails to go offer, there is nothing more potentially dangerous than standing over it and taking a look--or worse yet, handling it.  Just assume it is still 'live' and douse it with a health dose of water from your hose.

If a device does not go off properly, or sits there and smolders, do not stand over it to investigate it. Simply put it out with water and dispose of it safely.  The money 'lost' is less costly than a trip to the Emergency Room or worse yet; an eye or finger.

7.  Never 'fight' with fireworks.  This may seem like a real 'no-brainer' however we hear stories of kids using pyrotechnic devices as they would a paintball gun.  We don't need to go into how dangerous this is, or in the prophetic words from the movie A Christmas Story; "you'll put your eye out."  So be smart.  Don't use roman candles or any other firework as a hand-held, flaming source of danger.  Just don't do it because if you do, odds are pretty good you will shoot your eye out.

...and that injury is one anniversary you or your kids do not want to celebrate.

8.  Always have a trusted hose nearby.  Teach your kids that having a hose nearby can help if things go unexpectedly 'sideways.'  Being able to have the ability to quickly extinguish a flame is much better than watching something burn down while waiting for the fire department to arrive.  You can and should never underestimate your importance as a first line of defense if a fire is accidentally started.

9.  Fully Clean Up.  Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.  Remember that even if they are in a garbage bin, the embers could smolder and begin a fire long after you have gone inside and gone to bed so always wet them down before disposal!

10.  Have Fun.  Fireworks are dangerous, however manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make them as safe as possible!  So use your head and make sure your kids are also using common sense when igniting fireworks.

As we all know, the safest way to reduce all of danger is to go to one of the many fireworks shows done by a city, but if you must set some off  in your neighborhood, follow these 10 tips and you should be accident free!

...and be sure to have activities before your big home fireworks show, where you and your kids can earn some of the cool, fun Brag Badges offered in the Play Unplugged Home Version.  

#weplayunplugged #playunplugged #fireworksafety #fireworks