Independence Day, otherwise known as 4th of July, is just around the corner. This means fireworks will be going off all around the nation, from sparklers with the kids to skyrockets over the lake with friends. The Denver Post last year stated that it was estimated that Americans would spend over $6 billion for 4th of July festivities and over $7 million on fireworks alone. With the rise in firework purchases, if you are planning on doing your own fireworks this 4th of July, there are a few things to know to make sure you and your loved ones have a fun and safe holiday.
Know all your state and local laws.
Each state regulates the sale, purchase, and use of fireworks. This means the laws can vary from state to state. Actually, it can vary from county to county. The best way to know what you can or can’t do is to contact your local fire department or fire marshal’s office for the most up to date information about firework regulations in your area.
Much like the state regulating the sale and use of fireworks they also regulate when fireworks are allowed. Most will allow you to have fireworks for celebratory functions and holidays, such as New Years and 4th of July. They may also have a time frame in which you can set them off. In the state of Utah, you can have fireworks from July 1 -7 for Fourth of July, July 21 – 27 for Pioneer Days (state holiday) from 11 am to 11 pm and December 31st from 11am to midnight.
In some states, you are able to purchase or use fireworks at the age of 12 or even 16 but the majority of states will not sell fireworks unless you are 18 or older. Make sure to check with your state, so you are not held liable for underage firework usage. No matter your age, safety is always important and anyone can get hurt.
It is like the saying goes; it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. In summer of 2014 a Detroit TV meteorologist, Dave Rexroth, was injured in a fireworks accident while vacationing in Iowa that caused him to lose his eye. He doesn’t remember what exactly happened but that he did everything they tell you not to do. There are many accidents like this one that happen every year from fireworks. Here are a few tips from the National Council on Firework Safety to help keep your holiday safe:
- Never give fireworks to children and make sure a responsible adult is supervising
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes then drop into a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do NOT experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of fireworks by placing in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials.
By following these safety tips and your state’s laws and regulations, you will be one step closer to preventing any firework-related injuries and heartache. From our Rocket Lawyer family to yours, have a great Fourth of July!