Firework Safety

father with child standing on the hill and watching the fireworksBy Carol Hendrycks, Youth Services Communications Manager

It’s a great time of year for upcoming summer holidays to be celebrated with firework displays and a time for consumers purchasing legal fireworks to be reminded to keep their homes, neighborhoods, pets and community safe. Many cities and towns in Salt Lake County will observe the recommended fireworks restrictions addressed by the Unified Fire Department. It’s a particularly high season for brush with all the rain we received so observing the fireworks ordinances for your town are in full force.

As a reminder, UPD Assistant Fire Chief for Holladay Marty Slack offers these firework safety tips:

OBEY ALL LAWS:  Please obey all local and state laws regarding the use of state approved consumer fireworks.

RELIABILITY:  Purchase fireworks from reliable and licensed dealers. Do not use illegal explosives, alter any firework devices, or attempt to make your own fireworks.

USE COMMON SENSE:  Read all warning labels and follow directions for each firework device.  Never put your head or any part of your body over a firework.  Do not look into a tube to inspect a firework or hold a lit firework in your hand.

HANDLkidssafetyE WITH CARE:  Fireworks should be stored in a cool, dry place until ready for use.  Fireworks should not be carried in your pocket. Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.  Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water prior to disposal.

ADULTS ONLY:  Children should not handle, play with, or light fireworks. Fireworks are very hot and can cause severe burns.  Adults should handle and light all fireworks to insure proper use.

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE:  Use fireworks outdoors in a clear, open area away from buildings and vehicles.  Avoid dry grass and brush that could easily ignite.  Spectators should remain at least 30 feet away from the shooting area.

NO ALCOHOL:  Do not consume alcoholic beverages while lighting fireworks. Alcohol use increases the possibility of misuse and injury.

HARD, FLAT & LEVEL SURFACE: Light fireworks on a hard, flat, level surface to prevent them from tipping over. If lighting on grass, use a flat wooden board as a shooting surface.  The use of bricks is a great way to add additional support to aerial fireworks to keep them from tipping.

LIGHTING:  The use of safety glasses is recommended when lighting fireworks.  Light fireworks one at a time.  Do not attempt to re-light a “dud.” When a firework fails to ignite, leave it alone for at least 5 minutes, then immerse in water and dispose of it properly.

WINDY CONDITIONS: Use caution when lighting fireworks during windy conditions.  Fireworks should be lit with the prevailing wind blowing away from spectators.  If there is significant wind, stop shooting until the windy conditions subside.

EXTINGUISHMENT SOURCE:  Make sure that you keep a bucket of water, a garden hose, and/or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

dogfireworksBE MINDFUL OF PETS AND ANIMALS:  Animals may be frightened by the sounds and lights of fireworks. Keep your pets inside and farm animals moved away during your fireworks show.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to observe the fireworks code as safety comes first to avoid violations that will be enforced and outlined in the City Ordinances. Residents can help to keep their community safer to enjoy summer fireworks fun and can call on city and county services for assistance. And for animal rescue contact SLCo Animal Services for assistance by calling the dispatch number at 801-743-7045. For more information visit to locate maps and read more about firework restrictions in your area.


About Carol Hendrycks

As a communication professional I have enjoyed working for profit and non-profit organizations for over 30 years. I came to Youth Services in 2009 to volunteer and never left! It's a terrific blend of taking what I am passionate about i.e. communications and spinning my talents to benefit youth that is a most rewarding career and personal experience.
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