The height of summer is here, and we all love spending time outdoors with friends and celebrating our nation’s birthday with an amazing fireworks display. Mesmerizing firework shows do not come with a low degree of risk. The National Fire Protection Association states, “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities, and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries.”
Fireworks Safety Tips
- It is safest to hire a professional pyrotechnician or attend a professional firework show. However, if you’re the one setting off the display this year, here are some tips to minimize risk to you, your friends, family, and home. Fireworks packaged in brown paper are made for professional displays – avoid buying.
- Have a responsible adult supervise fireworks activities, especially with sparklers.
- Create as much distance between you and the fireworks immediately after lighting them. Please understand that organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association believe there is truly no safe distance when it comes to consumer fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose close in case of fire and to douse used fireworks before discarding in trash.
- Never allow young children to play or ignite fireworks.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never place a part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. This article from the AJC summarizes some of Georgia’s laws and Metro Atlanta local ordinances.
For a long time, fireworks were illegal in the state of Georgia. Local legislators have eased up a bit and have allowed fireworks to be enjoyed legally for personal use. Before you purchase your grand display, you’ll want to check out the official rules and regulations here.
Most importantly, you should review your homeowners insurance policy before sending out the invitations to a fireworks show at your home. Most property policies come with fire protection. Check with your agent or read your policy in full before you let your colors burst. What kind of fire coverage do you have, and what will it cost to replace your home and belongings should something go wrong? Will it cover you if one of your fireworks causes a fire in your neighbor’s home or if your firework show injures a neighborhood child?
Disclaimer: This material is for information only. This post does not provide legal or professional advice. Consult with your attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. The Insurance Connection welcomes all applications without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.