Safe fireworks use prevents injuries, property damage

Last Updated on July 2, 2015 by cassnetwork

INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of Americans end up in hospital emergency rooms each year because of fireworks-related injuries. In a typical year, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day.

Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said having a bit more knowledge and taking a few smart precautions can lead to safer Independence Day celebrations.

Greeson suggested that glow sticks are a safer alternative to traditional sparklers.

“Many parents don’t realize that sparklers can burn at about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit,” Greeson said. “That’s hot enough to melt glass. Imagine what that can do if it comes in contact with a child’s skin, hair or clothing, or anybody’s for that matter.”

Greeson said children should never be allowed to handle, play with or light any types of fireworks. He also said adults should be vigilant about keeping children and other fireworks viewers at safe distances.

“You also want to be aware of wind direction when using fireworks,” Greeson said. “Keep spectators where the fireworks and smoke are blowing away from them.”

He said fires can ignite if fireworks are set off too close to structures or land on rooftops. Sometimes, fireworks may appear to be spent, but can smolder for an extended period.

“Use a clear, open area,” Greeson said, “and have a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket of water nearby.”

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security offers the following additional tips to help Hoosiers stay safe on and around Independence Day.

  • Never try to fix or relight a “dud” firework.
  • Never try to make or alter a fireworks device.
  • Never drink alcohol when using fireworks.
  • Never smoke anywhere near fireworks; and be cautious when discarding cigarettes and matches.
  • Do not engage in or allow any type of horseplay, pranks or contests involving fireworks.
  • Never aim, point or throw fireworks at anyone.

While fireworks can be used year round, holidays such as Independence Day are a popular time for setting off fireworks. On and around July 4, state law allows for fireworks usage during the following times:

  • 9 a.m. until two hours after sunset June 29 through July 3.
  • 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.
  • 9 a.m. until two hours after sunset July 5 through July 9.
  • Check with your local officials for any ordinances that may limit usage around July 4 and year round.

For more information on fireworks safety information, visit, or follow IDHS on Twitter (@IDHS) or Facebook (IndianaDHS).

Cass County Online