Halloween is a great excuse and rare opportunity to light up fireworks. Who doesn’t like fireworks? But far too often, fireworks injuries such as severe burns and missing fingers have been the result of improper fireworks handling.
In advance of Halloween, know these 31 proper safety tips for transporting, storing and lighting up your fireworks. Use some common sense this Halloween; please safely light up your fireworks to prevent unwanted accidents that can cause injuries to not only yourself but also others as well as property damage.
Transporting and storing your fireworks
1. Only transport fireworks in the trunk of your vehicle.
2. If you don’t have a trunk (e.g., van or pick-up truck), transport fireworks in a non-sparking container with a lid.
3. Do not smoke while loading, transporting or unloading fireworks.
4. Always store fireworks in a, cool, dry place
5. Keep fireworks away from children.
6. Check the instructions for special handling directions.
7. Do not drop fireworks.
8. Do not carry fireworks in your pockets.
9. Never smoke while handling fireworks.
Setting up your fireworks
What you should do
10. Clear a large open area away from buildings, vehicles, overhead obstructions, and dry brush or grass.
- For aerial fireworks, allow a minimum of 30 m by 30 m.
- For ground-based fireworks (such as fountains and mines) allow a minimum of 20 m by 20 m.
11. Keep all spectators out of this area.
12. Check wind direction and wind speed; fireworks should be lit with the wind blowing away from spectators.
13. Keep a charged hose or bucket of water close by in case of a malfunction or fire.
14. Carefully read all the instructions for each firework item ahead of time.
15. Set fireworks on an appropriate surface.
- For aerial fireworks, bury the device up to its mid-point in a large pail or box filled with earth or sand, or in the ground.
- For ground-based fireworks (such as fountains and mines), set the fireworks on on a hard, flat, level. Lay down wood or plywood over grass.
16. Do not use fireworks indoors; they are designed for outdoor use only.
17. Do not use fireworks in streets, lanes, or other public places.
18. Do not set off aerial fireworks in strong winds.
19. Do not let children handle fireworks. Even sparklers burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing.
Lighting your fireworks
What you should do
20. Stand well back when the fireworks have been lit.
21. Wear only non-flammable clothing and/or costumes when igniting fireworks. cotton and other natural fibres are non-flammable. Never wear synthetic fibres (such as nylon or polyester) when firing.
22. Protect your eyes with safety glasses or safety goggles. Regular glasses or sunglasses may actually contribute to an injury, or may make an injury worse.
23. During the show, store the unused fireworks away from the firing area and keep them covered to prevent stray sparks from prematurely setting them off.
24. Never hold fireworks in your hand.
25. Never point or throw fireworks at people, animals, or property.
26. Never let children handle, play with, or set off fireworks under any circumstances.
27. Never put any part of your body or head over fireworks.
28. Never insert fireworks into containers (for example, pipes).
Cleaning up your fireworks
29. Never pick up spent fireworks until your are absolutely sure they are completely out – the tip of a sparkler can get as hot as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! Other fireworks can get just as hot.
30. Wait 30 minutes after the display has finished. Check the firing area for duds, clean up all debris, and check it again the next morning.
31. Never attempt to re-light fireworks that have misfired (duds). Wait 30 minutes and then place them in a bucket of water.
Source: City of Vancouver | Image: Condor 36 / Shutterstock