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Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and parades on Main Street. If you live in a state and county area that allows the use of consumer fireworks, it’s important to follow some common sense rules when handling them so that you and yours are sure to enjoy a safe 4th of July holiday. If you have questions about what is or is not allowed in your community, be sure to call your local fire department.

  • Only use legal Class-C common fireworks. These items should be clearly marked Class-C, include the name of the manufacturer and come with instructions for safe use.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks. If teens are using fireworks, parents or caretakers should closely supervise them.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Be sure to have water close by when you’re lighting fireworks: a garden hose, two buckets of water or both. One bucket of water should be used to soak spent fireworks with before putting them in an outdoor garbage can. The other bucket should be on hand in case you need to quickly douse a fire.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting, so you know what to expect from each firework.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak in a bucket of water.

And note these special safety tips for using sparklers:


  • Always remain standing while using sparklers.
  • Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
  • Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Never throw sparklers.
  • Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
  • Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.