Fireworks displays are among many long standing summer traditions enjoyed year after year all across the country. Unfortunately, many people are also injured year after year while setting off fireworks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 8,600 emergency room visits in 2010 due to firework related injuries. 40% of estimated injuries occur in children under the age of 15.
Iowa Law for Public Safety
Lighting fireworks at home is illegal in many states. In Iowa, state law limits personal use of many fireworks. Visit the Iowa Department of Public Safety for the most up to date information regarding firework laws. It is important to remember that even legal firework displays are not completely safe and can cause injury.
Safety Tips Everyone Should Follow
Whether you are watching or participating in lighting fireworks it is important to proceed with caution. Follow these tips to make your experience as safe as possible.
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
- Never set off fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
- Always have an adult present.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water or hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Light only one at a time.
- Never re-ignite a dud-firework — soak firework in bucket of water before discarding.
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
- Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
- Never throw fireworks or point fireworks at someone.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.
- Soak fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash.
- Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.
- Parents should pay special attention to children using sparklers. Sparklers reach temperatures up to 1800 degrees F. Children should not touch the lit portion of sparklers, throw them, or play games with them.
For more information about firework safety visit:
- Iowa Department of Public Safety: State Fire Marshall Division
- National Fire Protection Association
- The National Council on Firework Safety