The Fourth of July is celebrated with cookouts, pool parties, hot dog eating contests, and most famously: fireworks. Whether you are watching a spectacular show at the ballpark or enjoying a $20 firework kit from your local retail store, there are certain safety precautions that are essential to remember when it comes to the storage and usage of fireworks.
As the name suggests, fireworks are flammable, which means that you should take extreme precautions when it comes to storing them. There are multiple factors that you should consider when storing fireworks, including location, environment, and security.
The location where you store your fireworks should be in an enclosed space that is safe from water damage, corrosive materials, and sparks. To protect from water damage, do not leave your fireworks out of a container, on the ground, or near corners of walls. To avoid any corrosive materials setting off a chemical reaction with the fireworks, don’t store them anywhere near acids such as hydrogen peroxide and bromine, gases such as hydrogen chloride and ammonia, and solids such as potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. To safeguard your fireworks from sparks, keep them away from dry vegetation and miscellaneous cords.
The environment that you store your fireworks in plays a significant role in the integrity of their performance. Damp places are dangerous around fireworks, as the wet environment creates a chemical reaction within the fireworks that makes them less stable. On the opposite end of the spectrum, dry environments are the best for storing fireworks. It is important to emphasize that when storing fireworks in a dry place, that they should be nowhere near sources of heat.
If you’re considering storing fireworks in an attic or a basement, be observant of how frequent the temperatures fluctuate in those locations. Most attics and basements are vulnerable to extreme temperatures, such as substantial humidity and coolness. Fireworks should not be stored in environments such as attics and basements unless they are air conditioned.
To assure that your fireworks are safe from the elements and unintended visitors, it is important to remember these dos and don’ts of storing fireworks.
- Store them in sealed containers
- Store them in a secure room
- Store them out in the open
- Store them where children can reach them
- Store them near heat sources
- Store them close to wires, cords, and cables
As fun as they are, fireworks can be an extreme threat to users and their environments if not used properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 18,500 fires are started each year from fireworks. These damages average $43 million in property damage. When lighting fireworks, make sure to follow these guidelines to avoid injury, property damage, and wildfires.
Be Aware of Surroundings
It should go without saying, but don’t use fireworks near buildings, homes, and cars. Fireworks, while not massive in power, are capable of damaging windows, paint finishes, roofing, and more. To avoid any damage to infrastructures, your best bet is to use the fireworks in an empty lot, wide street, or in a field (weather permitting). If you manage to get your hands on handheld fireworks, make sure you do not point them towards buildings and houses.
Acknowledge the Weather
Weather can be a formidable foe when it comes to lighting fireworks. If you live in dryer areas, such as in the southwestern United States, you should avoid using fireworks near any form of shrubbery and vegetation. You may recall the massive Oregon wildfire from 2018 – the teen who started it with fireworks was ordered to pay $36 million in fees. The moral of this story is that if the weather is extremely dry, don’t put thousands of acres of wildlife and countless numbers of homes in danger just for a light show. Be mindful of your environment and don’t use fireworks in arid climates.
Keep Your Distance
There are roughly 9,000 firework related injuries per year. To avoid being one of these 9,000, once you light it, put immediate distance between yourself and the ignited firework. It is important to make sure that children and infants are being watched and kept far away from the fireworks as well. Possible injuries from being too close to a lit firework include burns, finger loss, chest injuries, and more.
Learn More about Millennium Buildings Today
As premier manufacturers of metal structures such as carports, garages, barns, triples, and commercials, we have an elevated knowledge of building safety. We hope that this firework safety guide helps you, as understanding firework safety in respect to buildings and personal health is crucial for a harm-free and enjoyable holiday. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the services that we provide, contact us today at 336-396-4944.