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This weekend, there will be Independence Day celebrations happening across the nation. People are stocking up on food, drinks, sparklers, and fireworks. Speaking of sparklers and fireworks, they can be fun, pretty, and cool, but they can also be dangerous. Safety and common sense are needed!

According to the NFPA’s Fireworks Fires and Injuries report, fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.

The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) offers safety tips for users of fireworks. These include:

  • Always provide adult supervision.
  • Do not allow young children to play with or light fireworks.
  • Do not attempt to re-ignite a firework that did not light properly.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Keep a water bucket or garden hose nearby.

The APA also supplies some sparkler safety tips:

  • Only use sparklers outdoors.
  • Only light and hold one sparkler at a time
  • Keep sparklers at arm’s length away from the face and body.
  • Stand at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Douse spent sparklers in water, for the wire or bamboo sticks stay hot after done burning.

Now, here are some additional firework safety tips from an insurance perspective:

  • Light off fireworks in a flat, open area. Try to stay away from houses, barns, and trees in case the firework were to malfunction.
  • Check state laws. Fireworks may be illegal where you live. It is helpful to do your research.
  • Be prepared. Check with your independent insurance agent to see if your home or excess policy would cover any fires or injuries that may occur because of fireworks.

Keep these tips in mind over the holiday to be safe and have fun!

Sources: National Fire Protection Association. American Pyrotechnics Association.

Copyright © 2020 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

Original blog published July 2, 2019.

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