Having fireworks at home can be great way to celebrate the Fourth of July with close friends and family, as long as they are used safely. Data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), shows more fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year. Fireworks accounted for two out of five of those fires making them more than any other cause of fires.

Additionally, the NFPA found an estimated 11,400 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2013 (2014 statistics not yet available). However, many of these accidents could be avoided by following the proper safety procedures.

If you live in an area where fireworks are legal and want to use them this Independence Day, protect your family, home and neighbors with these safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS).

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable. Make sure to read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting your fireworks. Additionally, only purchase fireworks from a licensed dealer. Do not use illegal or homemade fireworks.
  2. Shoot fireworks in an open area. Avoid shooting fireworks if your home is located on a lot with several trees or close to other homes. Also make sure to direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators and buildings.
  3. Have a designated fireworks shooter. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children. Additionally, the NCFS recommends wearing safety glasses when shooting fireworks, as the eyes and face tend to be the most common places for fireworks-related injuries.
  4. Keep your pets secured inside your home. Pets may get in the way of the fireworks path and even dogs in fenced yards find ways to escape the scary sounds.
  5. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show, you’ll need to be alert when operating fireworks.
  6. Set up safety precautions. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Additionally, never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers and never relight a “dud” firework. If you do come across a dud, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  7. Keep some sort of water near. The NCFS recommends having a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.To learn more about firework safety and regulation in your area, contact your local fire department. Castle & Cooke Mortgage wishes you and your family a happy and safe Fourth of July!