It's all fun and games until someone blows his head off in a ghastly Fourth of July accident.
You may not think about fireworks as weapons, but that's essentially what they are -- gunpowder in canisters lit with fuses that blow up.
It's this lax attitude about fireworks and fireworks safety that lead to horrible fireworks injuries. Here we'll discuss fireworks laws in your state (they're not legal in every state) as well as fireworks safety tips.
First the laws. All 50 states have their own laws regarding the purchase and use of fireworks. In 40 of the states plus the District of Columbia, some type of fireworks use is allowed. The states that don’t allow fireworks include; Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. In addition, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, and Vermont allow only sparklers and other "novelty" items. Arizona is the only state that allows only "novelty" items.
Also, most states have an age requirement to purchase fireworks. So 8-year-old Johnny can't just walk out of a store with a bunch of M-80s -- though some states like California do allow fireworks sales to children as young as 12.
After legally purchasing fireworks, you'll need to know about fireworks safety. Each year, more than 100 fireworks injuries are reported. Some tips for safe handling of fireworks include:
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Always have water handy.
- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and soak the dud in a bucket of water.
- Don't use homemade fireworks.
- Make sure you're sober before lighting the fuse.
Keep these fireworks safety tips and laws in mind to help eliminate fireworks injuries. Have a safe and fun Fourth of July.