What’s the 4th of July without fireworks? With many counties banning fireworks shows in 2020, more and more people are planning their own show in their backyard or cul-de-sac. Sounds like a great alternative, right?! What could go wrong?
As a disaster restoration company, we know firsthand how destructive fireworks can be. We really don’t want to meet you because of fire damage to your home, so we’ve put together these tips for you to safely enjoy fireworks this year.
- Check for fire restrictions. ALWAYS check your local county for any fire restrictions before lighting any type of fireworks. Here are the local restrictions for Arizona and Colorado.
- Make a safe launch zone. Always light fireworks OUTSIDE on a hard, flat surface away from buildings, cars, and shrubbery. Avoid areas with dry grass, brush, or other flammable objects nearby, and do not light fireworks on gravel, sand, or soft surfaces that are unstable. A 30-foot radius around the launch zone is also recommended for fountains and other ground-based fireworks.
- Have water on hand. Sparks often go astray so have a fire extinguisher, hose, bucket, or other water supply nearby for emergencies. It’s also smart to have someone assigned to be the fireperson whose sole job is to be alert and ready should water be needed.
- Keep idle fireworks separate. Be very careful to keep unused fireworks in a sealed container, away from the launch zone. Sparks fly when active fireworks are lit and can ignite your entire stash in an instant. You don’t want a grand finale accidentally happening in the middle of your show!
- Only light one firework at a time. Certain items—like sparklers—often flare up uncontrollably when lit together.
- Have an adult in charge. NEVER let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks. Fireworks are great family fun, but they burn very hot and are intended to be handled only by a responsible, sober adult.
- Wear proper PPE. We’re hearing a lot about PPE lately, and it applies to fireworks, too. Safety glasses (like these inexpensive ones) are recommended for anyone lighting the fireworks and those who are in close proximity.
- Check your surroundings. Always make sure the fireworks are pointing away from people, homes, cars, and other structures. Also keep the audience a safe distance from the launch zone and general vicinity of where the fireworks will explode.
- Let the “dud” be. Never attempt to re-light, alter, or fix any non-igniting or “dud” firework. If a firework fails to function when lit, let it stand for at least five minutes, then immerse it in water. It failed to function for some reason, so if you attempt to light it in a manner not intended, you compound the problem and create a very dangerous situation.
- Dispose of used fireworks correctly. Immerse all used fireworks in water prior to putting them in the trash.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, get everyone a safe distance away and call 9-1-1. And if you find your house or personal property damaged from fire or smoke, HRS Restoration Services is available 24/7 at (303) 241-7849 (Denver) or (602) 833-7057 (Phoenix).
Be safe and have a happy 4th of July!