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3 fireworks safety tips that don't ruin the fun

June 18, 2015
colorful fireworks explode in the night sky

Summer might be best known for its long, bright days, but the cool nights of the midsummer months can offer just as much fun. Fireworks are often considered a hallmark, or at least an enthusiastic display, of patriotism around holidays like the Fourth of July, but if you don't know how to treat these materials right, you could have a problem on your hands.

Fireworks safety doesn't have to suck all the fun out of what can be an exhilarating experience for kids and adults alike, though. After you make sure that fireworks are legal in your community, you can still have a thrilling time where no one gets hurt. In fact, if you follow these three tips when you're handling and lighting fireworks this summer, you won't need to pay your nearest CareWell urgent care center a visit.

1. One at a time
When you watch fireworks displays on TV, you might see dozens of large drums lined up in an array or transported on a barge. While these professional setups can handle multiple fireworks going off at once, you'll want to take a more low-key approach when it's your time to light a Roman candle.

Setting fireworks off one at a time makes it easier for you to keep track of where they're pointing and whether anything is in the way. Also, the larger the individual products you buy, the more force they'll have behind them. If you try to get fancy and place smaller fireworks around a larger one, they may get knocked over and could start firing in unpredictable directions.

Slow and steady wins the race, they say, so light fireworks one at a time.

"If you're standing downwind, you could get a face full of smoke."

2. Stand and deliver
During the big seasonal fireworks celebrations, people often line up at the edge of bridges, on top of cars and pretty much wherever they can find space and get the best view possible. However, when you're doing your own production, you'll want to choose where to stand a little more carefully.

Because fireworks are designed to shoot sparks, smoke and other particulate matter into the air, wind force and direction have a big influence in how these irritants can affect you. If you're standing downwind from a firework, you could suddenly find yourself surrounded by smoke and debris from the packaging. Aside from the obvious risk to your eyes, inhaling this also isn't great for your lungs.

Take a second to test the wind before lighting your fireworks and you won't regret it.

Fireworks may look pretty, but you need to keep your head about you when you're the on dealing with them.
Fireworks may look pretty, but you need to keep your head about you when you're the one dealing with them.

3. Water, water, everywhere
The biggest concern with any product with a fuse has to be burns, and even though thousands of Americans suffer minor and major injuries from fireworks every year, something as simple as bringing a bucket of water along with you can do wonders.

Spent fireworks might not look like they're much danger, but they could still be smoldering on the inside. A few drops of water can snuff out any lasting flames, but you'll still want to wait a minute or two - or use the entire bucket of water -  before trying to dispose of it. Otherwise, you might have to pay a visit to a CareWell urgent care center for some toasty fingertips.

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