20 Ways to Avoid Independence Day Injuries

FireworksNothing extinguishes Fourth of July fun faster than an injury.  That goes double if your young child is the victim of an Independence Day accident.

To avoid the physical pain and suffering associated with a holiday mishap and the added agony of paying sky-high medical bills, consider the following safety tips:


  1. Never allow children to ignite fireworks.
  2. Adults should be on hand at all times when children are near fireworks.
  3. Always follow the instructions printed on the fireworks’ box.
  4. Keep fire extinguishers, water hoses or a bucket of water on hand if you are using any type of pyrotechnic, including sparklers.  Remember:  Sparklers may look innocent, but they burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees.
  5. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, as this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays, not personal fun.
  6. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  7. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  8. Never try to re-light a dud.
  9. Never pick-up fireworks that have not fully ignited.
  10. Don’t try to light a pyrotechnic while holding it in your hand.
  11. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  12. Never light a pyrotechnic in a metal or glass container.
  13. Don’t unravel and try to combine the contents of fireworks to make your own explosives.
  14. Soak all used fireworks into a bucket of water before placing in the trash.
  15. Avoid buying fireworks from unknown retailers; rather, find reliable companies that have a history of selling in your area.
  16. Never consume alcohol prior to or while lighting fireworks.
  17. Store unused fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  18. Never light fireworks near a house or building, dry leaves or grass, or any other materials that can catch on fire.
  19. Make sure spectators are at least 30 feet away before lighting fireworks.
  20. Keep your pets indoors.  If your fur baby gets frightened easily leave a radio or television on to drown out any noise from exploding fireworks.
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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.