5 tips for setting off fireworks in dry weather
Most of the U.S. has been dealing with hot, dry weather for the past week. So it's the exact WRONG time to be setting off millions of fireworks. But obviously that'll happen regardless of how dry it is.
So before you burn your neighbor's house down or start a forest fire, we've got some Fourth of July safety tips for you. Even if you've heard this stuff before, you should hear it again.
#1.) Spray Down the Launch Site with a Hose Beforehand. If you're only setting off fireworks that stay on the ground, spray down a spot that's at least 30 feet in diameter.
--If you're using things like bottle rockets and Roman candles, it should ideally be 150 feet in diameter. And obviously don't choose a launching spot that LOOKS dry.
#2.) Keep the Hose Nearby, Just in Case. If a hose won't reach, then at least have a fire extinguisher handy. Or even a bucket of water is better than nothing.
#3.) Be Aware of How Windy It Is. If the wind picks up, let it die down before you set anything else off. Even one little spark can start a fire if it lands in the wrong place.
#4.) Designate One Adult to Watch for Any Sparks That Hit the Ground. If a fire DOES start, at least one of you needs to be paying attention so you can douse it as quickly as possible. And if you're all looking UP, you might not notice right away.
#5.) Don't Get Overconfident. Even if you're only using SMALL fireworks, you can still start a fire or hurt yourself by mistake.
--According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were at least 6,300 fireworks-related injuries in 2010, and about 20% of them were caused by sparklers. Another 6% were caused by bottle rockets.