For a list of your state fireworks control laws please visit Directory of State Laws.
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Have an adult present.
- Buy from reliable sellers.
- Use outdoors only.
- Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Stay away from illegal explosives.
Tips on Choosing Safe Fireworks
It is extremely important to know the difference between a legal consumer firework and a dangerous explosive device. Items such as M-80s, M-100s and blockbusters are not fireworks, they are federally banned explosives. They can cause serious injury or even death. Stay away from anything that isn't clearly labeled with the name of the item, the manufacturer's name and instructions for proper use. Here are some more tips to help ensure a safe Fourth of July:
Fireworks are not toys. Fireworks complying with strict regulations enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1976 function primarily by burning to produce motion and visible or audible effects. They are burning at approximately the same temperature as a household match and can cause burn injuries and ignite clothing if used improperly.
NEVER give fireworks to young children. Close, adult supervision of all fireworks activities is mandatory. Even sparklers can be unsafe if used improperly.
Select and use only legal devices. If you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, check with your local police department to determine what fireworks can be legally discharged in your area.
Stay away from illegal explosives. Illegal explosive devices continue to cause serious injuries around the Fourth of July holiday. These devices are commonly known as M-80s, M-100s, blockbusters or quarterpounders. Federally banned since 1966, these items will not contain the manufacturer's name and are usually totally unlabeled. Don't purchase or use unlabeled fireworks. If you are aware of anyone selling such devices, contact your local police department.
Homemade fireworks are deadly. Never attempt to make your own devices and do not purchase or use any kits that are advertised for making fireworks. Mixing and loading chemical powders is very dangerous and can kill or seriously injure you. Leave the making of fireworks to the experts.
Source: National Council on Fireworks Safety