Enjoy July 4th Celebrations – But be Safe!
Fourth of July is a major day of celebration with traditional fireworks displays. When it comes to shooting off your own fireworks, make safety the top priority.
Keep in mind, in 2018 fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.
In 2018, US hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries; half of these injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries.
In Nebraska, consumer fireworks may be possessed, used or discharged by a person 16 years or older, provided that a person 12 years of age or older and less than 16 years of age may possess, use or discharge consumer fireworks, but only in the immediate presence of and under the direct supervision of an adult 19 years of age or older. No fireworks of any kind shall be detonated between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 7:00 a.m. No fireworks of any kind shall be detonated in any designated fire zone within the city. State law allows for fireworks to be sold between June 24 and July 5.
- Use fireworks outdoors only. This includes sparklers and snakes. All fireworks burn, and can quickly start a house fire. When outdoors, be sure there is enough room to point fireworks away from spectators, houses, buildings and flammable materials.
- Use launching fireworks in open areas only to ensure they don't land on top of buildings and houses. Especially those with natural (cedar) type shingles.
- Always pre-plan to have water handy, whether that is a bucket or a hose.
- Have a first aid kit ready and waiting.
- Keep young children away from fireworks – even sparklers! Children using fireworks should be at least 12 years old, and always closely supervised. 20% of fireworks injuries to children are caused by sparklers!
- Use fireworks the way they were intended. Follow the lighting instructions on the package. Don’t combine them.
- Don’t try to relight duds. Wait at least 20 minutes before handling a dud, then soak it in water before disposing of the dud.
- Use a “designated shooter” who is alcohol free and wearing safety glasses! Light one device at a time, and keep a safe distance once a firework is lit. Don’t light fireworks in containers.
- Don’t allow running or horseplay by anyone near fireworks.
- Don't use fireworks while consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Always clean up after you are done celebrating