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4th of July Fireworks Laws and Safety Tips

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Celebrate 4th of July with fireworks safety tips and a rundown on some common fireworks laws!

While July 4th typically invokes images of choreographed fireworks celebrations, cookouts, barbeques, and the like, those who want to have a little extra explosive fun on their own should take extra precautions.

States vary as to what fireworks are allowed in the state and what fireworks can legally be purchased. Do you know what laws apply to your state?

For a quick primer, check the website for the National Council on Fireworks Safety. The website illustrates what fireworks are allowed in which states. In some states, no fireworks are allowed at all, and in other states, most types of fireworks are allowed.

And, most states have an age requirement as to how old you can be if you want to purchase fireworks. These laws also vary from state to state. Most states seem to put the age restriction at somewhere in the teens.

Even if you can legally buy some fireworks and use them in your 4th of July celebration, keep in mind that safety with fireworks is the key to having a fun, injury-free party. In 2008 alone, around 7,000 people were treated for some sort of fireworks-related injuries, mostly burns, according to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fireworks can also cause death.

"Safe" fireworks like sparklers can also cause injuries, especially to younger children. Sparklers, though small, can generate heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a result, even if children are playing with fireworks that are considered "safe," they should still be closely supervised. It might be prudent to completely prohibit younger children under the age of 12 from using fireworks at all in order to avoid injury.

Other safety tips include only lighting fireworks outside, always having some water (or a hose) handy, and not using illegal fireworks or homemade fireworks.

Keeping these 4th of July fireworks safety tips in mind might help prevent any injuries. And, keep in mind state fireworks laws, so that you can legally enjoy the holiday.

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