According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 8,000 people are injured using fireworks each year. Many families will turn to these American classics for 4th of July fun this year, but lots of them won't use proper precautions. If you're planning on lighting up the night sky with fireworks or sparklers, please use these firework safety tips to ensure everyone has a great time, and no one has to spend the holiday in the emergency room.

  • Children should never be allowed to light or play with fireworks.
  • Teens who are using with fireworks should be closely supervised by adults.
  • Always keep a bucket of water on hand in case of an emergency or a fireworks malfunction.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors away from buildings, people, homes, and dry vegetation.
  • Make certain the area is cleared of people. Wet the area before using sparklers.
  • Don't relight a "dud." Instead, wait at least 20 minutes and then soak it in water.
  • Soak used fireworks and sparklers in the water bucket before throwing them away in a covered, fireproof container kept outside.
  • Never hold a child and a sparkler at the same time.
  • Never use more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Do not throw or wave a sparkler and don't run with sparklers.
  • Don't sit down with sparklers. They are hot enough to ignite your clothing.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers additional tips and insights into fireworks safety, and encourage everyone use common sense to prevent injury. They advise people to read caution labels and follow all warnings and instructions, obey your local fireworks laws, do not drink alcohol while using fireworks, and absolutely do not use homemade fireworks.

Remember, you don't have to set off fireworks or use sparklers to celebrate the 4th of July. You can watch them at your local community events, or find different, fun ways to celebrate America's independence, including games and crafts.