As you celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends this weekend, make sure your day is a blast by practicing fireworks safety – or better yet, leave the lightshow to the pros!

Whether you are handling them yourself or watching a public show, here are some quick safety tips to keep in mind:

  • If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold. Always use them outside only and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Many towns prohibit personal use of fireworks so be in the know.
  • Fireworks sometimes backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction so stay far away from others when handing them.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Wear eye protection and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.  Move away quickly aftr lighting.
  • Use fireworks outside only, in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of used fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from any building or materials.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.