Independence Day is about celebrating America’s freedoms and our nation’s birth, but a close runner up to these hallowed ideals is an explosively kaleidoscopic fireworks display that makes your retinas sizzle with patriotism.
Even better for some, however, is lighting a few of those boom-booms as part of a personal fireworks display – if you’re lucky enough to live in a state that allows it. There are four tiers of legal acceptability when it comes to fireworks in the U.S.: zero tolerance (5 states), sparklers and poppers only (6 states), all non-aerial fireworks (18 states) and crazy fireworks freedom (21 states).
To list all 50 states would take up too much space, so if you want the lowdown on the law where you are, check <a title="State Fireworks Laws" href="http://www.pyrouniverse.com/statelaws.htm" target="_blank">here</a> to view a convenient map.
The following safety tips are for those of you who a) live in a state that green-lights the big stuff or b) don’t care about the law and are setting off the big stuff, anyway.
<strong>1. Keep your hose handy.</strong>
This is especially true if you’re having a dry spell. Dry grass, dry roofs, dry decks – these can and will catch on fire if they aren’t sprayed down prior to launch time. A quick spritz before things get crazy should do the trick, but it’s always good to have the hose out and the water on, just in case.
<strong>2. Don’t drink and light. </strong>
This should go without saying, but some people have to learn the hard way. Drinking impairs depth perception and coordination which, believe it or not, doesn’t mix well with handling explosives. So, think twice about getting bombed before lighting your bombs.
<strong>3. “Light fuse and get away.” </strong>
They print this right on the explosive and it’s advice you’d do well to heed. Know your exit strategy and never light fireworks in crowded areas, especially if there are people present who don’t know they’re in the red zone. Remember: Fear and panic are not your friends when you’re dealing with fire.
<strong>4. NEVER LOOK INTO THE TUBE.</strong>
This applies specifically to mortar fireworks, but as a general rule of thumb for anything with a fuse, you want to pretend you live in a world where duds don't exist. If you light a firework and it doesn’t go off, you must treat it as if it will go off at any time – because it might.
<a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> provides these tips for your safety only and does not advocate the illegal use of fireworks. We hope everyone has a safe, festive and enjoyable Independence Day weekend.