Fireworks, especially bright and festive New Year’s Eve fireworks, can be a beautiful, fun, and exciting way to celebrate. The 4th of July is not the only holiday we use fireworks to celebrate, as they give a big impact, bring people closer together, and are a major attraction for events.
However, you may be wondering, “What are the dangers of fireworks? What are some fireworks safety tips?” It is important to understand the potential dangers of fireworks and educate your family about the safety around fireworks.
Hazards of Fireworks and Safe Alternatives
Firework safety tips can be of the utmost importance not only because they are dangerous explosives but because improper use and not practicing basic safety around fireworks can have disastrous results.
Some of the hazards of fireworks include property damage, fire, injury, loss of limb, or worse. There are many safe alternatives if enforcing safety around fireworks is not an option for your celebration. Safe alternatives are also a great substitution during dry months in areas where fire bans often go into effect.
Long burning sparklers are a fantastic replacement for New Year’s Eve fireworks and are very popular at other celebrations like birthdays, weddings, and baby showers. They are among the top choices for “First Dance” displays at wedding receptions, especially outdoors. The effect is quite beautiful and a more intimate and involved way to enjoy fireworks safely.
Another alternative is to attend a public New Year’s Eve fireworks display, which minimizes the dangers of old fireworks due to the professionals putting on the show with strict fireworks safety requirements. Cities have extensive permit applications for public displays and work closely with local fire departments to ensure the most safety precautions possible are taken, as well as plans in place for emergencies.
There are many glow stick options that not only last longer but are more cost-effective than most fireworks and long-burning sparklers. Glow stick options are available at your local big-box store, the dollar store, online, and even at some grocery stores. They are inexpensive and safe for all ages to enjoy. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and even LED versions that strobe along with the beat of your music.
One of the best firework safety tips is to avoid alcohol and enforce adult supervision. Drinking alcohol drastically lowers the first level of safety around fireworks, and it is highly encouraged to be avoided.
Fire Safety Checklist: At Home and Away
Educate your family and have a plan
Whether you are having a backyard New Year’s Eve fireworks display, enjoying long-burning sparklers at a wedding reception, or explaining candle safety tips to your teenagers, there are many safety measures you can take.
First and foremost- have open communication with your family and a clear plan in case of emergency. Make sure everyone knows how to locate and operate the kitchen fire extinguisher, as most house fires start in the kitchen. Each room should have its own fire extinguisher and at least two escape routes.
Much like a hotel safety plan, outline a safety plan at home and review it often with your family. Have it somewhere safe to reference near a fire extinguisher in case of emergency. Your safety plan can include things like: a set meeting place for the family after evacuation, important tips like staying low, checking warmth on doors and doorknobs, how to open windows safely, and more.
Candle safety tips
Many people have candles, or multiple candles, in every room of their house. They add aroma, ambiance and contribute to the overall coziness of each room. However small candles may be, there are risks involved when lighting a fire at any time.
One little-known candle safety tip is to read the label and follow instructions. It is recommended to trim the wick to ¼ inch each time the wick is lit. Do not let the candle burn for longer than the label instructs- a half-hour is a good rule of thumb. It not only increases safety by burning in shorter increments with a shorter wick, but it also provides for a more even wax melt, which elongates the life of your candle!
Never leave candles unattended. While it is easy to light them and forget them, children or even pets can knock them over easily and ignite furnishings. Cats are especially known to be curious about candles, and not only could they start a fire by knocking a candle over, but their own tail could be alight if left unattended.
Another candle safety tip is to invest in a candle snuffer. Not only will this save your walls and furniture from stray wax from blowing your candles out, but it is one of the safest ways to extinguish a flame. It is recommended to have a wick trimmer and snuffer nearby every candle in your home.
Household maintenance and fire extinguisher services
Kitchen fire extinguishers are not a tool to leave under the sink, collecting dust for years unattended. They need to be checked and serviced by a professional fire extinguisher service every year. This ensures your emergency tool works as it should when you need it most.
A fire extinguisher service will check your household extinguishers and can provide you with helpful safety information to add to your family’s safety plan. Often, they can also provide certified training, which can be useful for older children and teenagers, especially if they are put in charge of taking care of the house and any younger children and pets when the adults are out of the home.
Fire alarms should be checked monthly to ensure they are working properly. There are test buttons and instructions with all household fire alarms, and if the manual can’t be located, the model number inputted into a search engine will provide all you need to know. Fresh batteries and an alarm in every room, including hallways and bathrooms, are a great start.
Did you know there were fire retardant paints and stains? Your local hardware store can point you to the safest materials to use when giving your home a refreshed look. Fire retardant paint for wood is also produced. If you look around your home and assess how much wood (or kindling) there is in every room, it may inspire you to invest in this additional safety measure.
Learning about fire retardant materials can be life-saving. Check your child’s pajamas, for example. Many newer materials are flame resistant. The importance of checking labels instead of relying on chance cannot be stressed enough. Keeping it on your radar will soon make it a habit, much like checking the fire alarm batteries surely are.
All of these small actions contribute to a safer home. Educating your family, practicing safety with actions and prevention, and using technologically advanced fire retardant paints can be the quickest way to a fire-free peace of mind.
Safety Around Fireworks
Creating an open communication about safely using fireworks can start with a family New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Starting with smaller fireworks, thoroughly reading through instructions together, and even reviewing the kitchen fire extinguisher use can be the start to a safe tradition.
A great idea is to couple your first family fireworks event with safer alternatives, like the long-burning sparklers. This will give your family the best of both worlds while educating them on the hazards of fireworks. It’s important to see the fun in safe, alternative ways and learn safety around fireworks for future events. As with any safety measure, education begins in the home and carries throughout your children’s lives.
Candles, sparklers, fireplaces, bonfires, and fireworks are all enjoyable and can be magical. To ensure future enjoyment, be sure to practice candle safety tips and understand the potential dangers of fire and fireworks.