With Independence and Canada Days upon us again, now is the time for lighting short fuses attached to paper tubes of gunpowder and running away as fast as we can to enjoy them from a 'safe' distance. The debate over whether fireworks are a valuable tradition or a dangerous nuisance is nearly as old as the countries themselves. Let's make sure we all stay safe this year.
Just like oil and water, fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. Children and fireworks don’t mix well either, kinda like nitrogen and glycerin (they can look at each other but don’t let them touch).
Pollution around fireworks celebrations always raises red flags (and it’s not just the plastic cups and used explosives). Stopping to think about it, firing a cardboard tube with gunpowder into the air must be one of the most inventive (and socially acceptable) ways of littering.
image: flickr - Ryan
Canada Day’s and Independence Day’s fireworks cause greater concern than their mid-winter, New Year’s counterparts (especially as droughts stretch across parts of the continent) . If you’re celebrating with fireworks at home (rather than enjoying the public displays) make sure you take safety precautions. Pyrotechnicians - that’s the fancy term for fireworks professionals - take factors like wind strength and direction into account. They also shoot their displays higher into the air to reduce the chance of live embers falling on dry grass and leaves.
- Check out your local fireworks regulations.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for dousing on fireworks that don't ignite.
- Choose a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves or grass.
- Make sure everyone's out of range before lighting.
- Keep unlit fireworks away from live fireworks.
- Never have any portion of your body over a firework while lighting.
- Never light fireworks in a container (especially glass or metal container).
- Don't try to relight malfunctioning fireworks.
- Wait 30 minutes before picking up used fireworks.
- Soak old fireworks in water before throwing them away.
Happy Candepence Day weekend everybody.