Across the country, people enjoy lighting fireworks to celebrate our nation’s birthday each Fourth of July. While gathering in large groups to watch fireworks shows may not occur this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families and socially distant groups can still safely enjoy the holiday.
Follow these tips to stay safe while using fireworks:
- Check to make sure using fireworks is legal in your area.
- Only buy legal fireworks labeled with the manufacturer’s name.
- Make sure children use sparklers only outdoors and keep them away from their faces, hair and clothing. Sparklers can burn up to 2,000 degrees.
- Wear eye protection.
- Always use fireworks outdoors and have a bucket of water or water hose nearby and stay away from people in case of accidents from backfiring or shooting in an unintended direction.
- When using fireworks, always point them away from houses, trees, cars, shrubbery and, especially, other people.
- Do not hold fireworks while lighting them. Place them in an open container before lighting the fuse.
- Light one firework at a time and never relight a “dud.”
- Never allow children to pick up fireworks from the ground. Unexploded fireworks may still ignite.
- Soak used or unignited fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away.
Many families may spend Independence Day weekend at a lake or beach. Be aware of these additional precautions when you’re near the water.
- Make sure your boat is in good working order before taking it out for the first time and that all required equipment is on the boat.
- Make sure all life jackets are in good working order. Life jackets must be worn by children younger than 8 years old and by anyone on a personal watercraft or being towed on skis or a tube.
- Be aware of what other boaters are doing around you.
- Storms can come up quickly, especially in the summer, so keep an eye to the sky. If caught in a storm, try to get to the nearest shelter.
Pool and water safety
- Anywhere there is water, there is a danger of drowning. Never swim alone.
- An adult must always watch children closely. This means no reading, talking on the phone or texting.
- An adult should be within arm’s reach of infants, toddlers and weaker swimmers.
- Enter shallow water feet first. It is never OK to dive into water less than 9 feet deep.
- Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Limit the amount of time spent outside during these hours.
- At least 20 minutes before going outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.