The Fourth of July can be a fun family event—an exciting time to celebrate and enjoy the summer with family and friends. And fireworks are usually a part of the celebration. Every year however, approximately 12,000 children and adults suffer injuries from fireworks.

To help you celebrate the Fourth of July safely, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following safety tips:

  • Read and follow all label instructions and warnings.
  • Always have an adult present.
  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Buy from reliable sellers.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only and light them on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Always have water handy; a garden hose and a bucket is best.
  • Never take fireworks apart, mix their contents with anything else, or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and then putting them in your trash can.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people. Be sure that people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks and never have any part of your body over the fireworks.
  • Do not use illegal explosives.

There are a handful of states that ban all consumer fireworks. Check with your local government agency to determine if fireworks are banned in your state.