There's no better way to celebrate the 4th of July than by blowing up a bunch of fireworks, but these sparkly sensations can be somewhat dangerous –– especially if you're new to the game. Check out our top eight tips to having a super-safe blast (get it?) this Independence Day –– and feel free to listen to Katy Perry's "Firework" while reading this, because we will be!
1. Check Your Local Fireworks Restriction Guide
Most communities have their own set of rules when it comes to fireworks, so make sure to check local laws –– especially if you live in a particularly dry area or in an urban city.
2. Only Use Legal Fireworks
There is no such thing as a 100 percent safe firework, but there are more than a few consumer-grade dazzlers that can be purchased legally. Don't buy illegal fireworks like M-80s (we know it can be tempting!), and avoid buying fireworks that are wrapped in brown paper. These are usually professional-grade, and although they're all kinds of stunning, they should be used by properly trained / certified individuals.
3. Keep Your Friends and Family Safe
Make sure that all onlookers, pets, and children are a safe distance away from the pyrotechnics. Spectators should be at least 50 feet upwind from your firing site –– especially kids and four-footed friends. It's safety first when it comes to "bombs bursting in air," ladies! (so many patriotic puns, so little time.)
4. Pick The Perfect Location
Avoid setting off fireworks near your home. The best place to launch them is a large, empty lot with a level surface such as concrete –– but if you need to, use a sturdy piece of wood as your launch area.
5. Wear Safety Goggles
Be sure to protect your baby blues, or browns, with goggles or other protective eyewear. And never (ever!) let anyone help you launch fireworks unless you have an extra pair of goggles for them to wear.
6. Stay Hydrated
In a perfect world, nothing would go wrong on the Fourth of July. But to prevent mishaps, keep a garden hose and a bucket of water on hand to extinguish fires and completely douse fireworks that fail to go off. Remember, your bucket of water can also be used to put-out sparklers!
7. Use The Right Kind Of Lighter
Fireworks are controlled explosives, and the safest way to light 'em up is by maximizing the distance between them and your body. Keep yourself away from the line of fire by using a long-handled lighter, and keep all unlit fireworks in a secure container so that they aren't accidentally ignited by falling sparks.
8. Be Prepared For Injuries
Have a box of bandages and burn cream on hand so you can spring into action if necessary!