Everyone enjoys fireworks and around this time of the year, patriotic flashing colors coming from our neighbors’ yards and shooting up in the sky cannot seem more appropriate. However, if you are one of the many Americans who celebrates the Fourth of July this way, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that some fireworks can be dangerous. So when you go out this weekend to pick out Tuesday’s firework line-up, it is highly recommended that you only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store or stand.

Consumer fireworks regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are packaged in bright colors and have safety warnings on the packaging. Typical consumer fireworks include fountains, cones, sparklers, fire crackers, bottle rockets and multiple tube products.

Illegal explosives are often unpackaged and are wrapped with plain brown paper. They are very unlikely to have any safety warnings, or place of manufacture. Many of them are hand made in illicit factories. They go by names such as M80, Quarter Stick or Cherry Bomb.

Also remember to follow these basic rules:

  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Children under age 16 should only use fireworks with ADULT SUPERVISION.
  • Always have a bucket of water, or water hose, nearby.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix!

Parents should pay special attention to children using sparkers. Sparklers reach temperatures up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Children should not touch the lit portion of sparklers, throw them or play games with them. Sparklers can be dangerous, if used improperly.

Watch a 6 minute video on fireworks safety at http://www.fireworksafety.com/07/NCFSconsafety.html

For more information on safety tips, visit http://www.fireworksafety.com/.