What Consumers Need to Know Before Buying Fireworks
Washington, D.C. —-Everyone enjoys fireworks, especially in the festive Fourth of July season. But consumers need to be careful about where they buy their fireworks. The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) recommends that you only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand. Never buy fireworks from an individual’s house or from someone on the street. Such devices are likely illegal explosives or professional 1.3G fireworks that can seriously injure you.
Consumer fireworks, regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, are packaged in bright colors and have safety warnings on the package. The packaging sets forth the country of origin, which is normally China. Typical consumer fireworks include fountains, cones, sparklers, firecrackers, rockets and multi-tube aerial devices.
Illegal explosives are often unpackaged and wrapped in brown paper. They are unlikely to have any safety warnings or place of manufacture. Many of them are handmade in basements or illicit factories without any quality control. They go by names such as M-80, Quarter Stick or Cherry Bombs. If someone approaches you to sell one of these illegal explosives, politely decline and call your local police department.
Professional 1.3G fireworks are legal but only in the hands of a licensed, trained pyro-technician. These devices are very different than consumer fireworks, are extremely powerful and are not meant for consumer use.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety encourages consumers to know their fireworks. Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety says, “Consumers should be aware of where their fireworks come from; only buy from licensed stores, stands and tents.” Nancy also says, “A designated shooter should prepare a shooting area, carefully read the label of each firework and understand exactly what the firework will do and refrain from consuming alcohol. Planning makes for a safe and fun backyard fireworks display.”
Consumer fireworks, when used in accordance with the instructions and safety warnings, are very safe. For a full list of consumer fireworks safety tips and a safety video, please visit www.FireworksSafety.org.