What precautions should people take when using fireworks this Fourth of
There are many precautions that everyone
should heed when enjoying fireworks:
Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers
Always read and follow the directions
THE SHOOTER SHOULD WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.
Only ignite fireworks outside in a well-cleared
Have a responsible adult supervise all fireworks
Light fireworks one item at a time.
Have a bucket of water available to dispose of used
Never experiment or attempt to make your own
Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
Never give fireworks to small children
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
Dispose of fireworks properly
Never throw fireworks at another person
Never carry fireworks in your pocket
Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass
What are the different classifications of
Consumer Fireworks (formerly known as "Class C"
Fireworks) - Also known as 1.4G Fireworks. These devices are most commonly sold at neighborhood stands during
the Fourth of July season.
Fireworks (formerly known as "Class B" Fireworks) - Also known as 1.3G Fireworks. These are the
fireworks used in large community displays run by licensed professionals (pyrotechnicians). These devices are
not intended for use by consumers.
What is the maximum
amount of explosive material contained in a consumer fireworks device?
The legal limit of explosive material in a
consumer (1.4G or Class C) firework is 50 mg (about the size of half an aspirin tablet). Any item containing
more than 50 mg is illegal and should be avoided.
How can I recognize
an illegal firework?
Look for a manufacturer's name on each
item or on the box in which they were packaged. Each device should also list instructions for proper use and
have cautionary labeling.
The manufacturer's name and cautionary
labeling are required by law. Fireworks without this information are probably illegal and, therefore, to be
avoided. If you suspect that you have illegal fireworks, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms at
Cherry bombs, M-80s, M-100s, and silver
salutes are all examples of illegal explosives, sometimes mistakenly referred to by the press as legal, consumer
fireworks. These items are extremely
Fireworks made from mail order kits are
illegal and dangerous. NEVER attempt to make your own fireworks or tamper with legal consumer fireworks. Be
extremely careful when ordering fireworks over the Internet.
If you do use the Internet to obtain
fireworks, be sure that you are purchasing from an established, legal vendor. Also, be sure to know all of the
local laws concerning the use of fireworks in your state before ordering any items.
How many people are
injured by fireworks each year?
Although the number of people enjoying fireworks today is
significantly greater than ever before, the fireworks industry's numerous safety campaigns and consumer
education programs are paying off, as evidenced by the amazing 44% decrease in the injury rate of
Unfortunately, a large majority of these
injuries are the result of the misuse of legal consumer items or the use of illegal explosives.
How do fireworks
The basic ingredient of fireworks is black
powder - also known as gunpowder. However, the creation of a fireworks display is truly an art form, one that
has been perfected by some families for generations.
The "paints" used by a craftsman of a
pyrotechnic device are the different chemicals added during production. These chemicals provide the dazzling
array of colors and visual effects on the canvas of a night sky, as well as the sounds (reports) that accompany
The manufacturer carefully selects the
chemicals to be used and determines the order in which they are packed into the casing in an effort to create a
specific visual effect. Once the materials are packed into the casing, a fuse is affixed so that the device can
be safely ignited.
Although all of the colors and effects of
a fireworks display are spectacular, the hallmark of a truly fine show are deep blue or dazzling white bursts -
the marks of an expert pyrotechnician.
How can we best
enjoy a fireworks display?
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your enjoyment of a public fireworks display:
Don't get too close. Sitting at least 500 feet from
the fireworks provides the best view of the show.
Watch for the quality and brightness of the colors.
Deep blue and dazzling white are especially difficult to produce. Count the number of explosions in a
shell. High-quality display shells may have multiple explosions that vary in color. There should be no
lag time in a professional show. There should always be something going on for you to enjoy.
Resist the temptation to keep any leftover material
you may find after a show. The professionals that put on the display will clean up all materials
To Your Holiday
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