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The Sparkler Guide to Independence Day Firework Safety!

The Sparkler Guide to Independence Day Firework Safety!

By Janet Manley

Independence is coming! Team, it is almost the Fourth of July, when Americans come together to play whiffle ball, barbecue* and worship the gods of pyrotechnics (Magnesium! Aluminum! Barium!). Your town may have planned a party for everyone to go watch fireworks, or you may be planning on a DIY celebration of your own, in which case we present some handy nuggets on safety and lawlyness.

If you are 18 or over (16 in Oregon), you can legally buy fireworks in 42 states and D.C. However, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Vermont only permit wire or wood stick sparklers, which means you’ll need to use your imagination to cultivate a truly epic show of pyrotechnics (in your mindsphere). If you live in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey or New York, you’re going to need an extra healthy dose of imagination, because fireworks are banned altogether—may we suggest this helpful tutorial on building a volcano? (Note: If you’re driving across state lines, things are more complicated law-wise, and potentially love-live-wise … are you at a Crossroads?)

Assuming you have procured some Whistling Moon Travelers, Magic Crystals, Disco Spinner,s and Fizzing Interns (we may have made the last one up, happy summer!), you are going to want to be smart about handling them. Here are a few rules of opposable thumbs that apply somewhat tenuously to LOVE also:

  • No Ryan Goslings and no crying downpours near the fireworks: Keep the fireworks dry.
  • No choose-your-own-adventures with the fireworks: Follow the directions on the label.
  • Arya Stark might get her own sword, but kids should not be given fireworks—even *sparklers.*
  • Don’t let off fireworks in your tent, kitchen, bathroom or clubhouse: Find an open, non-wooded area.
  • Man the hose! You should have buckets of water or a garden hose ready to extinguish.
  • Keep your emotional, and physical, distance.
  • You can only hold one flame at a time. Or you should only carry one.
  • If you love someone, set them free: Don’t attempt to relight a firework that didn’t take.
  • Cat videos and fireworks don’t mix: Keep pets away and indoors during fireworks.
  • Don’t enter the Darwin Awards: Don’t run with fireworks, put them in your pocket, throw them, or anything else devolved.
  • Never, ever, strap them to your boobs.

*A moment of silence for the portabellos that will be torched in honor of vegetarian guests this weekend.

The Sparkitors wish you all BAM!s this Independence Day!

Topics: Life
Tags: holidays, fireworks, summer, laws, fourth of july

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About the Author
Janet Manley

Janet's desk was moved into the hall for the duration of coursework on Roman numerals in grade four, and she cannot tell one Rocky from another to this day. Her spirit animal is a wombat, and she has not written a novel. Dauntless, Gryffindor, Mockingjay. She tweets @janetmanley

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.