What would the 4th of July be without fireworks? The nation’s favorite summertime holiday is celebrated with fireworks ranging from sparklers for the kids to spectacular pyrotechnics displays for entire communities.

Those shows can involve considerable hazards for those responsible for making sure they go off without a hitch.

OSHA offers the following reminders for pyrotechnics companies:

  1. Make sure personnel are trained and competent.
  2. Obtain required licenses, permits and inspections.
  3. Maintain display site security and communications.
  4. Wear protective gear and proper clothing.
  5. Prohibit accidental ignition sources.
  6. Properly install mortar boxes, racks and drums.
  7. Keep fireworks cartons closed.
  8. Keep fireworks dry and in good condition.
  9. Always handle fireworks carefully.
  10. Stay away from loaded mortars.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these tips for non-professionals who intend to set off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day:

  1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  2. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  7. Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.
  8. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  9. Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
  10. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
  11. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
  12. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
  13. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  14. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  15. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
  16. With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.