Fireworks Safety Guide

Big explosions. Booming sound effects. Brilliant colors. It’s true--fireworks are awesome. But with great power comes great responsibility, which is why we’ve gathered our top tips for using, disposing of, and storing fireworks safely.

Crowd observing fireworks

Top Tips to Use & Enjoy Fireworks Safely

So you want to purchase and use fireworks? We don’t blame you! But staying compliant with state and local laws is key. Laws do vary by state, city, county, and more, so always check with your local town hall or city hall for all the specifics. In the meantime, we’ve gathered all the need-to-know info on fireworks laws to keep you safe and having fun.

Picture this: You’ve stocked up on your favorite Red Apple fireworks, gathered your friends, and are ready to light up the night sky. Then you realize you don’t actually know how to use fireworks safely. Or how to dispose of fireworks safely. Oops.

Some heavy-duty fireworks like M-80s and Cherry Bombs are completely illegal in the U.S. because of the high level of explosive materials they contain.

In some states, consumer fireworks are illegal because they want only professionals handling displays and shows.

Have no fear, Red Apple is here. And we take firework safety seriously.

Using Fireworks Safely:

Firework Safety Basics

First and foremost--make sure you’re only buying, using, disposing of, and storing legal fireworks from a reputable distributor, and using them where permitted. Firework laws vary by state (and county, city, etc.), so check with your local fire department for specifics.

Once you’re safely following all local laws and regulations, it’s time to follow the basics:

  1. Plan when and where you’re going to use your fireworks. Are there any other fireworks planned for that time and area? Any community event happening that could conflict? Check with your town or city hall to make sure you’re in the clear.
  2. Check the weather. Sure, you might not be a meteorologist, but a quick check of your local weather is essential. Has it been unusually dry? Is your area under a wildfire watch or warning? Are there active wildfires? (If so, put down the fireworks!) Make sure the weather is appropriate before you light a match.
  3. Put pets inside and put space between young children and fireworks. Your dog might love being around you, but many pets aren’t as big of fans of fireworks. If your pets are close by, make sure they’re safely in the house and contained. Make sure any children are safely away from where you’ll be lighting fireworks, and that small children are safely with adults and unable to get ahold of any fireworks.
  4. Ask about the right disposal options. Reach out to your local fire station or landfill to see what you need for firework disposal, and where you can safely dispose of them.

Okay, so your plan is solid, your weather is perfect, your pets are safely inside, and all children are safely distanced. Now it’s time to know the key firework safety do’s and don’ts.

Firework Safety Do’s

When using fireworks, make sure you always:

  • Light one firework at a time
  • Maintain a safe distance after lighting (and before lighting your next one)
  • Point fireworks away from homes, trees, people, and other objects
  • Light fireworks outdoors
  • Wear safety goggles when setting off fireworks (and make sure anyone close to where you’re setting the off is wearing protective eyewear as well)
  • Read all safety instructions and labels before using any firework
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby to douse any malfunctioning firework or fire

Firework Safety Don’ts

And on the other hand:

  • Never let young children handle or use fireworks (and ensure older children are ready to use fireworks, only using smaller and less powerful fireworks, and only do so under strict adult supervision)
  • Never, ever use fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Never point fireworks or use fireworks near any flammable container or item
  • And on that note, never ignite a firework in a container of any kind
  • Never re-light or re-handle any dud or malfunctioning fireworks
  • Never place any part of your body in front of or over a firework
  • Never allow children to pick up pieces of fireworks after they’ve been set off (they could still be hot or even ignited)

Disposing of Fireworks Safely

Success! You’ve safely dazzled your friends and family with an incredible fireworks display. Now it’s time to safely dispose of your used or dud fireworks.

Firework Disposal Don’ts

And then make sure you:

  • Never put new or unused fireworks in your (or any) recycling container--fireworks aren’t recyclable!
  • Never allow used fireworks to dry out, it may make them unstable or a fire hazard

Storing Fireworks Safely

If you have leftover fireworks, storing them safely is key. And remember to ONLY store unused fireworks!

Firework Storage Do’s

Pack fireworks away the right way by:

  • Putting them in a non-flammable container like a plastic bin or metal trunk with the lid tightly closed (you can tape it shut if necessary)
  • Storing your safely sealed containers in a cool, dry, and safe place
  • Keeping them in a locked room or a place that children can’t access
  • Having a fire extinguished near your container, just in case

Firework Storage Don'ts:

Which also means:

  • Never putting your fireworks in a flammable container, like a cardboard box or a plastic bag
  • Never storing your fireworks near any open flame (like from your furnace, stove, waterhearter, etc.)
  • Never packing them away somewhere too hot (like a garage or utility area) or too cold (like an uninsulated shed)

And there you go! You’ve officially learned all the right ways to safely use, dispose of, and store fireworks. Now shop all your favorite fireworks from Red Apple and get ready for an amazing—and amazingly safe—experience!