For some, holiday fireworks can inspire lots of “ooos” and “ahhhhs.” But one wrong move could lead to tears and pain if you’re not careful.
Dr. Praveen Kache, a trained ER doctor who’s also the associate medical director of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, said letting the pros handle Fourth of July fireworks is the best option.
- WTOP’s guides for celebrating Independence Day in the D.C.-area
- Here’s what’s open and closed this Fourth of July weekend
“You can always enjoy public fireworks. That’s the safest thing to do,” Kache told WTOP.
But if you do your own fireworks, Kache says make sure to buy them from an authorized dealer.
“You want to make sure what you’re getting is legal in the area, so make sure you’re buying from a reputable source,” he said.
Before starting your home show, he recommends setting a clear and flat staging area such as “an open area, preferably grass … if it’s wet, that’s completely fine.”
He also suggested marking out a boundary with chalk or other material to serve as a visual boundary that children can’t go beyond during the fireworks. Kache also says to remember to that you need a way out if you’re the one running the show.
“Set up a way where you can run back from the fireworks,” Kache said.
Remember your furry friends, too — Dr. Kache said lights and noises could scare cats and dogs and they might act unpredictably, so he suggested keeping them inside while the human folks enjoy the fireworks.
A list of things to keep handy during your home show includes a first aid kit and a bucket of water.
“Very old school, but you should have a bucket of water, a garden hose so you can spray down the fireworks … or … you can throw them into the bucket of water when you’re done.”
“Also goggles,” Kache added. “There’s a lot of those sparks that can hit your eye and cause a corneal abrasion or corneal burn that can be not only painful, but leave long-term effects.”
And while a holiday favorite — sparklers — may seem benign, “a sparkler burns at roughly 2,000 to 3,000 degrees,” Kache said. “I mean that is very, very hot.”