Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Magic of Fireworks

The magic of fireworks--The splendor that turns the neighborhood into a fabulous display of lights, colors and sounds--The excitement and thrill seen on the children’s faces, not to mention the grown children. But all the excitement can turn into a nightmare if used improperly. Don’t let the exciting celebration of our country’s freedom turn into a devastating trauma. It’s easy to have a memorable celebration and stay safe by following
a few simple suggestions.

The Mommies Network and the National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) urge you to put safety first when celebrating this Fourth of July. Because of stringent federal safety standards enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, legal fireworks are safer then ever and, in fact, the incidence of firework related injuries have dramatically decreased in the last 10 years.

Legal fireworks conform to the standards given by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Illegal ones often don’t. Only use legal fireworks. Be sure you can recognize legal fireworks from the illegal ones. The CPSC requires that legal fireworks show the name of the item, the name of the manufacturer or distributor and easy-to-read cautionary labeling and instructions for proper use.  It is suggested you contact the local police or fire department to make sure your fireworks are legal in your area. State laws can be found here. Click on your state for all the details!

Illegal devices include M80s, M100s and silver salutes and have been federally banned since 1966 because of the large amounts of illegal explosives they contain. These fireworks can usually be differentiated from legal fireworks in that they are usually unlabeled, will not bear a caution statement and will not list the manufacturer's name. They can be very dangerous and turn your backyard celebration into a backyard disaster. It is recommended to contact your local police if you know if any illegal firework distributors or anybody using illegal fireworks.

The following safety tips are given by the CPSC as general recommendations if you choose to use legal fireworks. You can get more information off their website at
  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
  • Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
  •  Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don't go off.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
  •  Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  •  Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  •  Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting
  •  Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.

You can get more information firework safety by clicking on this link. The Mommies Network implores you to have a happy, safe, magical Fourth of July. We look forward to hearing all about your celebrations as we celebrate our wonderful country’s independence.

{This article has been adapted from a post originally published on, a Mommies Network Community.}


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