AUSTIN (KXAN) — What a better way to say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 than with some fireworks. However, before you head outside to pop off some firecrackers there are some safety tips to follow.
“You have to know your environment, where we’re going to go to shoot them,” Chester Davis, owner of American Fireworks said. “Plus, take a gallon of water so that when you’re done you put your fireworks out even sparklers, and always use them under adult supervision.”
The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends the following:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. In Austin, people are not allowed to light fireworks within the city limits.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets.
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
So how do firework sales compare from New Year’s Eve to Fourth of July? Davis said it all depends on the weather and where you live. If the weather is clear, you’re likely to see fireworks ringing in the new year. On average, it’s about a 60 percent difference in sales with Fourth of July coming out on top.
Although beautiful and mesmerizing, fireworks can be dangerous and can cause accidents.
Davis said with ever firework purchased, customers should notice a warning label and added, “whatever you do make sure to use the fireworks for the way you’re supposed to and don’t make homemade bombs.”
Fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year and sparklers are connected to approximately a quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
In 2017, hospitals across the country saw an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks-related injuries.