In a typical year, more fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day - fireworks account for two out of five of those fires. In 2010, fireworks ignited an estimated 15,500 fires, many of which were outdoor grass and brush fires. These fires can spread quickly, especially in areas that are experiencing dry weather or drought.
Viewer Tip: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to visit a public display that is organized by professionals. If you are thinking about using fireworks, keep these tips in mind to prevent fires and enjoy a safe holiday:
- Check local laws and observe fireworks bans. Laws about fireworks use vary from state to state. With many parts of the United States experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions - and some battling wildfires - certain communities are implementing complete bans on fireworks, including public displays. Always follow rules and instructions issued by your local officials.
- Light up safely. Keep fireworks out of the hands of young children. Never light fireworks near your home, dry leaves or grass, or other flammable materials.
- Douse them out. Always keep a bucket of water around to douse the fireworks when you are done. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, too.
Did you know? A sparkler burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, water boils at 212 degrees, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees!
(Sources: Hall Jr., John R. “Fireworks.” National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2012; Firesafety.gov, “Fireworks and Summer Fire Safety.”; Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/IKluft.)