How Not to Light Yourself on Fire on Independence Day

july-4th-fireworks Image via Shutterstock

Around the fourth of July, nearly 240 people go the emergency room every day with firework-related injuries. Most of these accidents could have been prevented if the bottle had said sweetened ice tea rather than HARD ice tea, but … hey, no judgement.

In an effort to stay safe this year, here are seven ways not to light yourself on fire on Independence Day (and other reminders that grown (men) adults should never need)…

1. Never Allow Children to Play With Fireworks. This includes the overgrown, intoxicated kind. If Jim Carrey is suddenly staring back at you, take the fireworks away. Hell, remove the sparklers from their possession as well. Alcohol consumption + fireworks = extreme stupidity and loss of eyebrows.

2. Don’t Try to Re-Ignite or Pick up Shit That Didn’t Light the First Time. Is it smoldering? Can you still hear a hissing sound? Then why in the name of Roman’s candles are you picking it up? It doesn’t take a bottle rocket scientist to know that even a slight orange glow means something could potentially come back to life. And hissing? Think playful rattlesnake winking at you. Are you Crocodile Dundee? No.

3. Never Place Any Part of Your Body Directly Over a Fireworks Device When Lighting the Fuse. In other words, don’t lean in for a closer look to see if the sucker really lit. Unless you’re a fan of singed nose hairs and the charming scent of burning flesh, retreat to a safe distance immediately upon lighting. Don’t walk! Run, asshole!

4. Sparklers Are NOT Safe. They might look all cute and fuzzy, twinkling like a firefly or diamond in the sky, but sparklers are not exactly safe. They can burn at two thousand degrees (enough to melt some metals, durr) and cause the most fireworks-related injuries. My advice: Skip the pretty handheld volcano balls and opt for some pine-scented candles instead.

5. Keep a Bucket of Water Handy in Case of an Emergency. Or in case an argument breaks out and you need to diffuse the situation.

6. Light Fireworks One at a Time. Resist the temptation to light the whole lot of fireworks at one time. The boom might be louder. The colors might be sensational . But you might end up looking like Captain Hook at the end of the day. Eye patch included.

7. Never Point or Throw Fireworks at Another Person. Fireworks do not shoot blanks! These are not NERF guns, people, and you are not a ninja warrior. This is real life. In other words, get the Jackass-like ideas out of your head and use the fireworks as they are intended.

Seriously, folks, fireworks are dangerous. Keep the kiddos and intoxicated brethren away from them at all times. Be safe and have a wonderful holiday!


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 2

    Mary says

    First- “you’re not a ninja warrior” Cracked me right up!!

    As the ex of a fireman- THANK YOU! We had several calls over the years where someone went to the hospital sans fingers… And it was always someone being stupid. Like… using a slingshot to launch lit fire crackers- and not the little bunches. No, these were 1/4 sticks… *sigh*
    (Yes, alcohol was involved).

    Sparklers CAN be handled safely, BUT should be used with close adult supervision. We always liked the long ones- the burn longer and have longer handles, keeping sparks away from little fingers… but again, parents were right there at all times, and the kids were 6-7 years old by the time we let them try them out.

    Common sense is 90% of prevention. Go forth and have fun… Just keep in mind that you’re dealing with explosives, and if you’re uncomfortable supervising or handling, there’s always the professional shows. :)

    Show Replies
  2. 5


    Not not NOT trying to start a gun control debate so please don’t let this dissolve in to one but something else to remember during the 4th is to not shoot your guns in the air in lieu of fireworks. Bullets can travel for miles before coming back to Earth. Last 4th of July a little girl was killed near my home town when a bullet someone shot off came back down and lodged in her brain. The culprit was never caught but the police said the bullet may have travelled as much as five miles.

    Show Replies
  3. 10

    Jenny says

    ALSO… be considerate! I’m one of those folks that was pretty badly burned by a sparkler after someone dropped their just finished sparklers and walked away. Well, 13 year old me knelt to watch the big show and landed right on top of 3 or 4 hot-as-the-sun-sticks-of-sparkly-death. 3rd degree burns, folks, not fun at all. And this was a public park in the middle of a festival. Don’t be that asshat!!

    Show Replies

Load More Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>