Enjoy Fireworks Safely
Fireworks are an American tradition—it’s nearly impossible to imagine a Fourth of July celebration without them. But if we want to continue to enjoy fireworks for years to come, we have to be smart about using them safely.
What’s the risk with fireworks?
More fires are reported in the United States on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, and fireworks cause almost half of them. The Fourth of July is also a day when many people—especially kids and teens—are burned by consumer fireworks like sparklers and fire crackers. These things are hot; the tip of a burning sparkler is about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. As a comparison, your oven heats only to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. A sparkler can cause a third-degree burn. Let’s not make spending the day in the emergency room a new American tradition. Learn about fireworks safety.
The best fireworks show for the lowest risk: leave it to the professionals.
Why spend your holiday trying to supervise the use of consumer fireworks, making sure your guests don’t hurt themselves or burn the house down? Take everyone to see a professional fireworks show and let someone else do the work while you sit back and enjoy a better light show than you could ever do at home. If you want, you can probably see a different show every night of the Fourth of July weekend, because some towns do a show the day before or after the holiday.
If you use consumer fireworks, use only those that are legal in Maine.
Know the rules for fireworks. You can use consumer fireworks such as sparklers and firecrackers in Maine, but you can’t use bottle rockets, missile-type rockets or “helicopters” and spinners. Though not as common on the Fourth of July, floating paper lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns or sky lanterns) are also a no-go.
You can use legal consumer fireworks on your property, or with permission from the property owner. But you can’t use them, for example, in a park. And, although consumer fireworks are legal in the state of Maine, be aware that some cities or municipalities may have bans on them.
Be smart when using consumer fireworks.
If you use consumer fireworks, be especially watchful of children. Children and teens do not often handle flammable and hot things, and don’t know how to do it safely. Be aware that if you have consumer fireworks at your barbecue or gathering, you will be spending some of your holiday monitoring to make sure the fireworks stay in the right hands.
Respect our firefighting heroes by being safe with fireworks.
Honoring our firefighters is also an important American tradition. We can honor them with our actions as well as our words when we show respect for their time and do not put them at unnecessary risk. For every fire caused by fireworks, our firefighters must put themselves at risk to preserve your safety and property. You can honor Maine’s firefighters by avoiding those unnecessary risks.
By making safe and smart decisions about fireworks, you can enjoy your Fourth of July holiday without worry about injury or risk to your property. Happy Independence Day!
If you would like more information on this, or any other health-related topic, the Health Educators at the Learning Resource Center are happy to help. They provide trusted and reliable health information and connect people to local resources in the community. Connect with a health educator today!
Be well, be well informed.