Firework Safety

Nothing says 4th of July like fireworks! But you must make sure to exercise extreme caution around fireworks to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. In 2006, approximately 9,200 people were treated in the United States for firework related injuries and 11 people died. Most injuries occurred to children under the age of 15.

Sparklers are also a popular way to help celebrate, but they can be very dangerous. Over 50% of sparkler related injuries happen to kids under the age of 14!

Roanoke Fire-EMS, The National Council on Fireworks Safety and The Consumer Product Safety Commission want to share some safety tips to help you and your family enjoy a happy and safe 4th of July:
  • Always buy from reliable sellers. Never buy illegal fireworks such as M-80s,M-100s, quarterpounders and blockbusters. These are federally banned explosives. Illegal fireworks are classified as any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket or other substance or object, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or inflammable compound or substance, and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks that explode, rise into the air or travel laterally, or fires projectiles into the air.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Always have an adult present.
  • Use all fireworks and sparklers outdoors only. Keep them away from clothing and flammable objects.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Light only 1 firework or sparkler at a time.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never give fireworks or sparklers to small children. Children under the age of 12 should not handle sparklers. They can reach up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit!
  • Dispose of fireworks and sparklers properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
  • Never throw or point fireworks or sparklers at other people. Be sure that everyone is out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework. Fireworks can cause serious burns or eye injuries.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Be responsible.
  • When watching a public fireworks display, always obey all ushers or monitors and respect the safety barriers set up to allow the trained operator room to safely to their job.
  • If you find a firework that falls to the ground without exploding, do not touch it - contact the local fire or police department.
  • Leave the pets at home if visiting a fireworks show - they have very sensitive ears and the booms and bangs associated with fireworks can cause them discomfort or trauma.
  • Leave the lighting of all fireworks to the trained operator when you attend a public display.
  • Homemade fireworks are deadly. Never attempt to make your own devices and do not purchase or use any kits that are advertised for making fireworks. Mixing and loading chemical powders is very dangerous and can kill or seriously injure you.
By following these simple safety rules, you can then sit back, relax and enjoy the show! If you have questions about fireworks, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 540-853-2795.