Fireworks sales to consumers have risen dramatically in the past 25 years. Consumption per million pounds has increased nearly 920%, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Of the 213.2 million
pounds of fireworks sold in the U.S. in 2008, the vast majority (186.4 million pounds) were purchased by consumers. And believe it or not, more U.S. fires are reported on July 4th than any other day. In 2009, an estimated 18,000 fires were reported, including 1,300 structural fires, 700 home fires, 400 vehicle fires and 16,300 outdoor and other fires. The total cost in direct property damage was $38 million. To enjoy a safe fireworks display and save on your homeowners insurance by reducing claims, follow these safety tips.
- Check your local and state regulations to see if you can legally have home fireworks. The Federal Hazardous Substance Act prohibits the sale of any firecracker with more than 50 milligrams of explosive powders and any aerial with more than 130 milligrams of flash powder. Mail order kits and components to make these devices are also banned under federal law. If you start a fire as the result of an illegal activity, your homeowners insurance may not cover you.
- Buy fireworks from reliable sources who are licensed to sell them.
- Choose an open space away from your home, outbuildings, vehicles and vegetation. Wet the area well before you light a fuse.
- Always have a responsible, sober adult in charge of detonation and disposal. The shooter should wear safety goggles and work gloves to lessen the risk of injury.
- Read any directions carefully.
- Do not alter or combine fireworks in any way.
- Never relight a dud. Wait at least 20 minutes and douse it with water before picking it up.
- Have a bucket of water handy for soaking all fireworks after they’ve burned. Keep a hose and a bucket of sand on hand, too.
- Dispose of burned out fireworks in a covered, fireproof container and store it away from buildings and flammable materials.
- Prevent human injury by keeping spectators well removed from your fireworks display. The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children. In fact, 39% of people injured by fireworks are under 15, and sparklers can be just as dangerous as the cherry bombs.
Before you plan your fireworks display, check your homeowners insurance policy and make sure it’s up to date. You can shop for competitive homeowners insurance from top insurers on this website.