The Fourth of July marks a special summer holiday that brings barbecues, parades, and picnics and for many, fireworks. To keep yourself, family and home safe; refresh yourself on some well-known safety guidelines to avoid turning a celebration into a dangerous situation:
- Buy fireworks from reliable vendors. Never experiment and make your own.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Keep at least 20 feet away from any structure.
- Wear eye protection.
- Never shoot fireworks out of metal or glass containers.
- Never re-light a ‘dud’ firework. Instead wait 15-20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always supervise children when using ANY type of firework.
- Don’t underestimate the danger of safe novelties. 3 sparklers burning together generate the heat of a blowtorch (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit). – Whoa!
- Dispose of fireworks properly: Soak them in water, then place in a trash can.
Also remember common sense tips. Don’t use fireworks indoors, and never point them in the direction of a person or pet.
On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. In 2011, fires involving fireworks accounted for 1,200 structure fires with $32 million in direct property damage.
Basic home insurance covers fires, but if those fires are caused by fireworks that you or your family have set off, your policy may not cover you if they are illegal in your area, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). There are 4 states that ban the use of all fireworks by consumers: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. A handful of other states have varying restrictions on the types of fireworks that can be used.
You can check in on your state’s laws here: http://www.americanpyro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:state-law-directory&catid=20:site-content&Itemid=119
Avoid the headache of filing a property loss claim or making a trip to the ER and have a safe and Happy Independence Day from all of us here at CRS.
Nfpa.org – National Fire Protection Association
americanpyro.com – American Pyrotechnics Association