Authorities Advise Residents To Celebrate the Independence Holiday Safely

With the 4th of July upon us, local police and fire departments throughout Hudson County are reminding residents to stay safe if they plan on using fireworks during the course of the extended holiday weekend.  While law enforcement agencies would prefer residents and families attend local fireworks shows put on by municipalities, the law in New Jersey does permit certain, legal fireworks for purchase by individuals.

If you choose to use fireworks at home, however, you should use them carefully and safely.  We all know there are far too many Independence Day news stories about accidents taking place and injuring adults and children using fireworks improperly.

Facial burns, lost fingers and other injuries are far too frequent.

State law does allow for personal use of ground-based novelties and non-aerial sparkling devices, but residents are advised to leave all firework usage to professionals. According to the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, hand-held sparklers can reach a temperature of approximately 1,200 degrees making them extremely dangerous, and for adult use only.

It is crucial to prioritize fireworks safety. By following these essential guidelines, everyone can enjoy a spectacular and secure celebration.

  1. Attend Public Displays: Consider attending public fireworks displays organized by professionals. These events adhere to strict safety protocols, ensuring a thrilling experience while minimizing individual risks. Leave the handling of fireworks to the experts and revel in the magnificent show from a safe distance.
  2. Respect Legal Guidelines: Before purchasing fireworks, familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations. Not all fireworks may be legal for personal use in your area. Always obtain fireworks from licensed sellers and refrain from purchasing homemade or illegal fireworks, as they pose significant dangers.
  3. Adult Supervision: If you decide to enjoy fireworks at home, ensure that responsible adults handle all aspects of the fireworks display. Never allow children to ignite or handle fireworks. Keep curious pets indoors to prevent them from getting startled or injured.
  4. Read and Follow Instructions: Carefully read the instructions and warning labels on each firework before use. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to accidents or serious injuries. Follow the instructions regarding lighting procedures, recommended distances, and any special precautions for specific fireworks.
  5. Safe Lighting Techniques: Use a flashlight or a butane lighter with an extended handle to ignite fireworks. Maintain a safe distance and light fireworks one at a time. After lighting a firework, quickly move away to a safe location. Never relight malfunctioning or dud fireworks.
  6. Maintain Distance: Always maintain a safe distance from fireworks after lighting them. Respect the recommended safety radius for each type of firework. Be mindful of nearby structures, trees, and dry grass, ensuring there is enough clearance to prevent accidental fires.
  7. Keep Water and Fire Extinguishers Handy: Have a water source, such as a hose or bucket, nearby in case of emergencies or accidental fires. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher readily accessible for immediate response if necessary.
  8. Be Cautious with Sparklers: Sparklers may seem harmless, but they can reach temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (537 degrees Celsius). Children should never handle sparklers without adult supervision. Ensure a safe environment by designating an area for sparkler use, away from flammable objects.
  9. Clean Up Properly: Once the fireworks display is over, dispose of used fireworks properly. Soak them in water for a few hours before discarding them in a metal container. This precaution prevents accidental fires and ensures the safety of others.
  10. Be Considerate of Others: Remember that fireworks displays can be distressing for some individuals, such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or sensory sensitivities. Prioritize the well-being of your community by adhering to local regulations regarding fireworks use and respecting noise curfews.

By following these guidelines and prioritizing safety, everyone can enjoy the beauty and excitement of fireworks while minimizing potential risks. Let us ensure that our celebrations remain joyful and accident-free for all.