Young people aren’t the only ones who enjoy fireworks on the 4th of July. Every year, millions of seniors gather up their lawn chairs, blankets and refreshments to participate in a tradition that has become as American as baseball and apple pie.
And whether you’re in New York on New Year’s or in Indiana on Independence Day, being a spectator at a fireworks show can pose some serious hazards without the proper precautions. So, in order to help make this a fun, safe holiday season, Freedom Home Care offers a few tips for you and your older loved one to remember as you celebrate.
Know the Laws
Not every state is friendly to people who want to put on their own fireworks show. Before going out and buying them, check to make sure fireworks are legal to use in your area.
Beware of Non-licensed Vendors
Unfortunately, there will be some people looking to profit from what unsuspecting buyers don’t know. Some fireworks can only be purchased by professionals. And in certain places, it’s illegal to buy them unless you have a permit. Other areas consider ‘safe and sane’ fireworks to be non-aerial and non-explosive. Still, some less-than-forthright dealers will sell them regardless.
It’s also important to note that many areas may restrict the days or times fireworks can be purchased and/or when they can be used. It’s best to ask around to find an authorized fireworks distributor that complies with federal and local laws.
Stay at a Safe Distance
Setting off fireworks is not an exact science – and what goes up, must come down. Some of the shells once shot into the air, could fall back down, resulting in a fire or burns when landing on spectators below. Mobility issues could make it difficult for your loved one to quickly get away. Most fireworks’ displays are pretty easy to see from a distance, so it’s best that your senior(s) stay as far back as possible to avoid being struck by sparks or debris.
Avoid Consuming Alcohol When Handling Fireworks
This might go without saying, but alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. The National Council on Fireworks Safety suggests having someone present – like a designated shooter – who can safely and responsibly set off fireworks while everyone else enjoys the show. The smallest amount of alcohol can inhibit proper use. Protect yourself and your older loved one by practicing safe shooting.
Here are some other tips to also keep in mind:
Wear safety glasses if you plan to set of fireworks.
Light one shell at a time. If it doesn’t go off, don’t try to relight it again.
Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.
Never give fireworks to children or grandchildren under 18.
Avoid trying to make your own.
Always keep a bucket of water and hose nearby in case of a fire.