Many people will choose to forego professional fireworks displays at crowded parks and malls and celebrate Independence Day at home. These celebrations may include DIY firework displays. Whether you are partial to shells, sparklers, spinners, or sky flyers, the safety of your body, your children, and your home should be the number one priority.

The Consumer Products and Safety Commission recommends the following tips to keep yourself and your children safe when using fireworks at home:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Dr Roof recommends these five tips to keep your home safe when using fireworks:

  • Clean your gutters. According to firefighters, doing this offers your roof the most protection from fire. Gutters clogged with pine needles, dry leaves, or other material can easily ignite if a spark lands on them.

  • Use your sprinklers in both the front yard and back yard. Keeping your grass and landscaping damp will help put out any lit material that may appear.

  • Pick up any dead leaves or other dry material from your property, particularly anything close to your home, shed, or garage.

  • If you have bark, mulch, or wood chips around your home be sure to water it. These materials can hide and protect a spark for hours before a fire grows.

  • If you suspect any roof or siding damage due to fireworks, call Dr Roof for your free home inspection!