If you’re firing off bottle rockets during your holiday festivities this summer, be sure to celebrate responsibly! Fireworks present a number of safety and environmental concerns, so it’s important to know how to properly use and dispose of them. Here are some tips to keep you and your neighbors safe.
Use Common Sense
Some of these tips should go without saying, but they’re worth mentioning just in case. First of all, never – under any circumstances – should fireworks be used indoors. This goes for sparklers as well as larger exploding rockets. Always have water handy, whether it’s a hose or bucket. And stay a safe distance from people and buildings. Make sure pets are restrained so they won’t try to give chase.
Follow the Rules
Before the show begins, make sure the detonation of fireworks is legal in your community. Review the laws or contact your local municipality to find out. Be sure to read the instructions on each firework before lighting it. Fireworks should be situated upright on a stable base. Never try to hold them in your hand or point them downward or sideways.
Dispose of Duds
If a firework seems to be a “dud” and doesn’t detonate after being lit, don’t try to relight it. Wait 20 minutes and then dispose of it properly. The recommend disposal method is to soak unused fireworks in a bucket of water until saturated, or overnight. Double wrap the soaked fireworks in plastic bags or cellophane wrap to hold the moisture in. Then you can place the wrapped bags in with the household garbage to be taken to a solid waste facility.
Store Them Safely
If you plan to store unused fireworks, keep them in a cool, dry place out of reach of children. Fireworks should be kept far away from appliances or other electrical components, as a spark or surge could cause them to ignite. Before lighting stored fireworks, check the date to make sure they haven’t expired.
If you have additional questions about how to properly use, store, and dispose of fireworks, contact your local fire department or fire marshal’s office.
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