Six Tips for a Safe Fourth of July Celebration

fireworks, safety

Glowing sparklers, massive booms from afar and collective “oohs” and “ahhs” are familiar sights and sounds this time of year. Yes, the Fourth of July will soon be upon us. And once again, Memorial Health hospitals are preparing for an influx of firework-induced, avoidable injuries and burns.

“We typically see a spike in burns and firework-related injuries during this time of year,” Beth Fullington, RN, director of nursing operations at Springfield Memorial Hospital. “Our goal is to keep everyone harm-free and inform the public of safe ways to enjoy fireworks this season.”

Fireworks should be handled delicately and cautiously. They have the potential to cause serious harm, even death, if not handled properly.

Enjoy the sights and sounds, but be smart and consider the following tips so you can have a fun and safe holiday celebration.

fireworks safety


  • Prep Work – Only use fireworks outdoors, away from buildings, spectators, animals and dry vegetation. Keep spectators a safe distance away from fireworks. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix; have someone designated to set off the fireworks.
  • Yes or No – Yes – Always report illegal explosives to fire or police departments. They can kill. No – Do not ever use homemade fireworks. They can kill.
  • Water and Fire – Water is fire’s worst enemy. Use a garden hose to wet down the area before lighting fireworks. Always have water handy and include a bucket or a hose.
  • No Joke – Never throw or aim a lit firework at a person or animal.
  • Duds – Never relight a “dud” firework. Stay away and wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in a bucket of water. Soak all lit fireworks in water and dispose in a fireproof container.
  • Kids – Sparklers are fireworks. And dangerous. They burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Never let a child light a firework or touch a dud firework or pick up one that’s already exploded. Be aware of where children are located while enjoying fireworks.