No Fourth of July feels complete without the captivating spectacle of fireworks. However, putting on a show-stopping display should not overshadow the importance of practicing fireworks safety. The improper handling and use of fireworks can lead to disastrous consequences, causing injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. Here are some essential guidelines and precautions to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable July fourth celebration.
- Purchase fireworks from authorized sources: Purchasing from licensed and authorized vendors is crucial to ensure the quality and safety of fireworks. These reputable sources adhere to safety regulations and sell only fireworks that have been tested for reliability. Buying fireworks from a reliable vendor significantly reduces the risk of malfunction and ensures a safer experience.
- Read and follow instructions: Each firework product comes with specific instructions and safety guidelines. It is imperative to read and understand these instructions thoroughly before using fireworks. Pay attention to recommended lighting procedures, safety distances, and any special precautions. Ignoring or neglecting these instructions can lead to accidents and injuries.
- Choose an appropriate location: Selecting the right location for fireworks is crucial to ensure the safety of yourself, others, and your property. Opt for open areas away from buildings, dry grass, trees, and other flammable materials. Keep a safe distance from houses, vehicles, and power lines. It is essential to consider the wind direction to avoid debris and sparks blowing toward people or structures.
- Keep a water source nearby: A water source nearby, such as a bucket of water or a hose, is essential in emergencies. Fireworks can sometimes malfunction or cause unintended fires. Being prepared with water can help quickly extinguish small fires or cool down fireworks that may have ignited improperly.
- Don’t drink and light: It is strongly advised not to consume alcohol or any intoxicating substances while handling or operating fireworks. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents. A clear and focused mind is crucial when dealing with potentially dangerous objects like fireworks.
- Use protective gear: Wearing appropriate protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of injuries. Safety glasses, gloves, and closed-toe shoes are highly recommended when handling fireworks. Loose clothing should be avoided to minimize the chance of catching fire. It is vital to dress appropriately and encourage others to do so as well.
- Keep spectators at a safe distance: Maintaining a safe distance between the fireworks display and the spectators is essential. Taking extra precaution with children, establish a clearly marked perimeter or safety zone and ensure everyone stays outside. This precaution helps prevent injuries caused by fireworks that may malfunction or project debris unexpectedly.
- Dispose of fireworks properly: Once the fireworks display is over, it is important to dispose of them properly. Dispose of used fireworks by soaking them in water before discarding them in a metal container. Do not leave used or unused fireworks lying around, as they can be a fire hazard.
While fireworks can be mesmerizing and enjoyable, please prioritize safety when handling and operating them. Following the recommended guidelines and precautions significantly reduces the risk of accidents, injuries, and property damage. By purchasing fireworks from authorized sources, reading and adhering to instructions, choosing appropriate locations, and taking necessary safety measures, we can ensure a memorable and safe fireworks experience for everyone involved. Remember, fireworks safety is everyone’s responsibility, and by celebrating with caution, we can enjoy the beauty of fireworks while keeping ourselves and others out of harm’s way.
Legal and Illegal Fireworks: Oregon law permits the sale and use of certain types of fireworks. These include “consumer fireworks” or “Class C fireworks,” which are typically sold at licensed retailers. Examples of legal fireworks include sparklers, fountains, smoke devices, and certain types of ground-based fireworks that do not explode or fly into the air.
Here is more information about legal/illegal fireworks in Oregon