The bright flash of red, white, and blue accompanied by a thunderous boom defines Independence Day for many Americans. Dozens of professional fireworks shows are preceded and followed by thousands of amateur exhibitions. Arizona relaxed its stance towards the sale and use of fireworks a few years ago but the danger remains. Our Injury Prevention team is reminding you to follow some basic safety guidelines to ensure you and your family have a safe, healthy, and happy fourth .

With more than 30 professional shows lighting up the Arizona skies statewide, the safest way for you and your family to enjoy the night’s festivities is from a safe distance. Of course, the heat is always a factor so be sure to stay hydrated. Many displays will be shown on TV for those who want to avoid the heat and the crowds.

For some the tradition is to put on their own show. If you decide to use fireworks at home, please follow these important safety guidelines:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, this includes sparklers which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse what’s left with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Following these tips will help you, your family, and our communities have a safe and healthy Independence Day. Besides personal safety, please consider the wildfire danger if you decide to use fireworks.