Six tips to (safely!) enjoy the 'rockets' red glare'
You've heard it before: The safest way to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks is to stake out a spot at your local park and leave it to the professionals. But in a PEMCO Poll, about one-third of people, most under age 35, said lighting fireworks is the highlight of their holiday celebration.
If that's you, here are six ways to enjoy your festivities with less worry:
1) Make sure fireworks are legal in your area
Many communities ban fireworks, and among those that still allow them, most restrict revelers to July 4. Check your city or county's website for the laws – and potentially hefty fines – where you live. (In our Poll, 14% of people who used fireworks said they didn't know for sure if they were legal, and 15% said they knew they weren't, but did it anyway!)
2) Choose a spot away from homes and wooded areas
Even though you're lighting fireworks legally, you could be held liable for damage if an accident happens or you start a fire.
3) Light and run
Never light more than one firework at a time, and once the fuse catches, back away quickly. Always light on a smooth, stable surface on the ground. If the ground's rough, lay down a large scrap of plywood as your launch pad.
4) Keep a hose and bucket nearby
Quick action can keep a small fire from spreading. And if things are so dry that a fire sparks? That's a sign it's time to pack in the celebration.
5) Wear eye protection
And never lean over to check a "dud" or try to relight it. Instead, douse it with water.
6) Don't allow kids to handle fireworks
Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees and can cause severe burns if children drop them on their feet.
If you're more interested in protecting your home from errant fireworks than lighting them, check out these tips for (peacefully) cohabiting with your pyro neighbors.
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