Who doesn’t like a good fireworks show?
From Philadelphia’s famous Fourth of July bash to the nightly extravaganza at Disney World in Orlando, fireworks light up the night sky and bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike. Commercial fireworks such as these are produced by licensed professionals, who know the ins and outs of fireworks safety.
Change in Pennsylvania’s Fireworks Law
Fireworks are also popular with individuals, who enjoy putting on their own backyard displays. With a change in Pennsylvania State Law, residents 18 and older are now able to purchase and use larger “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks. This includes firecrackers, Roman Candles, bottle rockets and other fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosives. Larger fireworks, or “display fireworks” are still to be used only by professionals holding a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.
Remember, individual municipalities have their own fireworks ordinances. Be sure to check with your hometown for any restrictions.
Safety tips for the use of fireworks
If you plan to take advantage and light up the sky with your own backyard display, the National Council on Fireworks Safety has a number of tips you can use:
- Never give fireworks to a child. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
- Be kind to your pets; keep them inside and away from the loud noise.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. You can raise a glass to your display once it’s finished.
- Keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby and always wear safety glasses while shooting fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them with water. Place them in a metal trash can away from your house or other building.
- Never attempt to relight a “dud.” Treat these as spent fireworks.
The Pennsylvania State Police also wants residents to be aware that fireworks cannot be used on public or private property without permission from the owner. Also, discharging fireworks of any kind from or toward a vehicle or building is also prohibited. You must also be 150 feet away from an occupied structure before discharging fireworks.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were four fireworks-related deaths and 11,100 injures in 2016. Three of the four fatalities in 2016 were related to reloadable aerial devices, and one was associated with manufacturing homemade devices. The four victims, who were not professionals, all died from direct impact with fireworks.
Be aware of the potential fire hazard
Some 1,400 structure fires and $21 million in property damage were also attributed to fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s latest numbers. Typically, nearly half of the fires reported during the Fourth of July holiday are caused by fireworks. As always, a working smoke detection system is a critical safety net. Monitored fire and security alarm systems at your home or business will also alert you to any problems if you are away on vacation.
Remember, all fireworks, even sparklers, can cause injuries and property damage if not used properly. Delco Alarm Systems hopes you enjoy your holidays by celebrating safely.