Fireworks Safety Tips
With the recent rain we had, it's not as dry as it was, but many areas are still crunchy. If you're going to be setting off fireworks, here are a few tips to not set a fire in the process.
Don't light off your fireworks in a dry area.
Do give your launch site a good soaking beforehand. Set a sprinkler outside where you're planning on shooting off your fireworks and turn it on an hour or so beforehand. Even if you're just doing fireworks that stay on the ground, cover an area that's about 30 feet in diameter. Roman candles and bottle rockets need about 150 feet. Keep a hose nearby when you're setting them off, too, just in case something sparks. If your hose doesn't reach, a bucket of water should do the trick. If the area looks dry, however, don't chance it. Pick another spot.
Don't shoot off your fireworks if it's windy, so do be aware of the wind.
The wind speed on the ground doesn't really matter as much as the wind speed at 15 to 20 feet in the air. Sparks can carry even if there's the slightest breath of wind. I know because I got ashes in my eye one year. It was not fun. The National Weather Service is forecasting winds from the southeast at about 10 miles an hour for Wednesday. Those wind speeds are faster once you get up above the ground, so keep that in mind. If the wind does pick up while you're shooting off your fireworks, wait until the wind dies down before you shoot off anything else.
Don't drink and play with fire.
Do designate one responsible, sober adult to watch for sparks. If you're going to be drinking, make sure one person isn't and have them be watching what everyone is doing. If a fire does start, at least one adult needs to be aware of what's going on so they can extinguish anything.
Don't get overconfident.
Even if you're just doing small fireworks, you can still hurt yourself or start a fire. More than six thousand people suffered fireworks related injuries in 2010. Most of those injuries were caused by sparklers and bottle rockets, so be careful. Don't be a statistic.
What are your plans for the 4th of July?