Happy 4th of July!

Happy July 4thHow to Safely and Legally Buy and Use Fireworks this Independence Day

As a site for smart consumers we have to find our own way of contributing to the celebrations, so today we’re going to give you a few pointers on buying holiday fireworks. We’re referring here to “consumer fireworks”, a.k.a. 1.4G fireworks, as certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC). This category includes the simplest types of fireworks, such as firecrackers and sparklers.

Although you can buy fireworks online, the laws about selling, possessing and using consumer fireworks vary from state to state. Most online merchants will ship to you no matter what state you’re in but your purchases may be confiscated before you ever see them and you may even be fined. In some states, the law includes some exceptions for the weeks leading up to July 4th. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, only Delaware, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey have bans on consumer fireworks. Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Vermont allow simple sparklers, but no other form of firecracker. All other states allow some form of fireworks but they may define consumer fireworks differently or permit their possession but not sales, or allow them only in restricted areas. The law may have a minimum purchasing age or a limited selling period. You can check out the details for your state at the APA website.

Of course, the reason states and local governments have these restrictions is because these things can be dangerous. Most of the basic safety rules are the obvious ones you should use if for some reason you decide that playing with fire is a good idea. Do this outdoors with a bucket of water nearby. Make sure that everyone in the area is aware that you’re about to light fireworks and is standing back. Anybody handling firecrackers should be careful of any baggy clothing and wear eye protection.

There are some additional things to remember when dealing with firecrackers. The CPSA certifies products and most areas require a permit to sell firecrackers. If you’ve bought from someone without the proper licensing or certification then there’s no reason to trust that what you’ve bought are safe products that you can trust. Additionally, remember that if you seem to have found a dud, don’t try to relight it multiple times. It’s asking for trouble.

And don’t forget to have fun.

Happy Independence Day from Consumer-Rankings.com!

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