Five Firework Safety Tips While You’re Camping
There’s no better time to head out with the family and go camping than during the fourth of July! There’s great weather, grilling, and the opportunity to soak in nature. Then, when the sun goes down, it’s dark enough to properly enjoy lighting a few fireworks.
Unfortunately, what sounds like fun at first can quickly turn into a disaster. Around 10,000 people were treated for firework injuries in the United States in 2019. A handful of those people actually died due to those injuries.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your own firework show! It does mean that you have to be very careful by following some basic safety tips.
Know the Laws in Your Area
First, you should research the laws in your area. There are many states that allow the sale of most types of fireworks to consumers. Just a few of these states include:
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
It’s important to camp in a state that allows fireworks, but you also have to know the details of the laws where you’re staying. Some areas may only allow fireworks on the fourth, but not before or after, while other places may allow certain kinds of fireworks and not others. For example, Washington allows consumer fireworks but does not allow firecrackers or bottle rockets.
One Adult Should Be in Charge
Lighting off fireworks can be exciting. It can be tempting to have two or three people setting off fireworks at one time with the kids helping. This is just asking for an accident.
Instead, you should assign one adult to be in charge. This person will set up the firework, make sure everyone is at a safe distance, then light it.
With just one person in charge of all the fireworks, you can reduce the chances of others in your group getting injured by a firework. It also allows the person setting off the firework to focus, which means they are less likely to get injured too.
Pick the Right Spot to Light Them
Every year you hear at least one story of a person who burned their house down lighting a firework. The nice thing about camping and lighting fireworks is that hopefully, you aren’t anywhere near someone’s house, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other things you can damage.
When lighting fireworks, make sure you avoid lighting them near any structures, like bathrooms, RVs, and shelters. You should definitely avoid lighting them near tents.
When you’re out in nature, it’s especially important to be cautious of the plants and wildlife. Never light fireworks too close to trees or dry grass. Instead, choose an open, clear spot with dirt on the ground to reduce your chances of catching anything on fire.
Pick the Right Spot for Spectators
Not only do you have to consider where you place the fireworks, but you should also consider very carefully where spectators are going to stand. Fireworks can damage the eyes and skin.
Anyone watching should be standing or sitting a safe distance away from the firework before it is lit. It is also important to make sure you take the wind into account. If there’s a little bit of a breeze, sparks and ash can be carried quite a distance, so make sure spectators are located upwind from the area where the fireworks are going off.
The person in charge of the fireworks has to find a good spot to watch too! Make sure there’s a safe spot for that person to flee and relax to watch the show after the firework has been lit.
Always Have a Bucket of Water Handy
It doesn’t matter if you’re lighting sparklers, smoke bombs, or roman candles, you should always have a bucket of water handy before you begin.
Having a bucket gives you an easy way to put out a small fire should one be lit due to a faulty firework or stray sparks. It also provides you with a quick and easy way to wash ash from clothing or rinse a burn on the skin.
More importantly, that bucket of water provides you with a safe way to dispose of those fireworks. Sparklers are safest when placed in water, as are fireworks that were lit but didn’t actually go off.
Camping can be a great time to set off fireworks when you’re celebrating the fourth of July! Just make sure you keep everyone in your party safe by following these tips.