In the United States, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July each year than any other day. In 2010, fireworks ignited an estimated 15,500 fires, many of which were outdoor fires. These fires can spread quickly, especially in areas that are experiencing dry weather or drought.
Viewer Tip: The best way to enjoy fireworks safely is to visit a public display that is organized by professionals. If you are thinking about using fireworks, keep these tips in mind to prevent fires and have a safe holiday:
- Check the laws. Laws about fireworks use vary from state to state. Before using any fireworks, check with city or county officials to find out if there are use restrictions and bans.
- Light up safely. Keep fireworks out of the hands of young children. Never light fireworks near your home, dry leaves or grass, or other flammable materials.
- Douse it out. Always keep a bucket of water around to douse the fireworks when you are done. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, too.
Did you know? A sparkler burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, water boils at 212 degrees, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees!
(Sources: Hall Jr., John R. “Fireworks.” National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2012, http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=297; Firesafety.gov, “Fireworks and Summer Fire Safety.” http://www.firesafety.gov/citizens/firesafety/fireworks.shtm)