Next Friday, July 4th, we'll be celebrating our nation's birthday with a big birthday party that will most likely involve fireworks! Although they are a source of great joy and full of amazement because of all their beautiful colors, they can though be quite dangerous. If used improperly, fireworks can cause fires, injuries and general property damage. Out of all the reported firework injuries, sparklers account for 16% of fireworks related injuries. These seemingly harmless sticks of wonder burn at an unbelievable high temperature of 1200 degrees (nearly six times hotter than boiling water), so please use caution when you let your kids wave these little glowing sticks around.

Here are some safety tips for you when it comes to fireworks and shooting them off:

  • Follow the law. Contact your local county/parish/municipal officials for information on burn bans and to find out which fireworks are legal in your area.
  • Ensure responsible adult supervision is present during fireworks use. Children should not handle fireworks.
  • Do not consume alcohol with fireworks.
  • Read all directions and warnings on individual products.
  • Use fireworks on a hard, flat, and level surface to ensure the stability of the product.
  • Use fireworks in a clear open area.
  • Never shoot fireworks indoors and avoid shooting fireworks in an area where there is dry grass or brush.
  • Shoot fireworks away from homes and other flammable materials.
  • Purchase fireworks only from a licensed and approved dealer.
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at people.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.

Just use simple common sense and follow these suggestions when it comes to fireworks this year and you'll most likely have one of the best Fourth of July's ever!

Happy 4th of July!