Fireworks are fantastic. We remember growing up as kids and admiring the beautiful shapes and colors, blasting sounds you can feel in your chest, the smell of smoke, and the intensity of the booms. As we approach the day and night to celebrate our Independence, we look forward to dazzling displays of fireworks once again. These joyous memories are made when a few individuals take on the risks and take on a pyromaniacs dream night with highly flammable and dangerous fireworks.
At Ritz Safety we love fireworks, but we want to make sure anyone working with fireworks this Independence Day does so safely. Because they are as dangerous as they are fantastic. In 2018 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated over 5,600 injuries were caused by fireworks. That said, here are a few tips and recommendations to keep you, the crowds and the fireworks display operators safe while using fireworks this year.
1. Proper training to work with fireworks is the number one way to increase operational safety with fireworks.
2. Obtaining the required licenses, permits, and inspections to operate fireworks is not only a legal recommendation, but requires certain safety measures are taken seriously such as proper distancing with a safety radius, understanding the surroundings around the launch site, and inspections ensure the right equipment is being used properly.
3. Maintaining site security and communications. Lines of communication between the fire works display operators is key, but also having direct lines open with local authorities and security teams is key to ensuring a safe event.
4. Protective gear and clothing is critical to keep folks safe when operating fireworks. While not required, it is highly recommended that fireworks operators wear fire resistant apparel and are equipped with the proper gloves, hearing and face protection. Below you will find a list of products we recommend for fireworks operators.
5. Restrict fire ignition devices and sources and reduce the risk of accidental ignition.
6. Properly installing all mortar boxes, racks and drums. Miss placed or unstable installation is one of the more common errors that leads to chaotic and dangerous firework hazards.
7. Keep fireworks cartons closed and handle with care, and keep away from children.
8. Keep fireworks dry and in good condition. If there is a risk of poor weather or even light rain it is best to be prepared with tarps, tents, and weights to keep all equipment and cartons dry.
9. Keep fire extinguishers and first aid onsite and make sure that everyone is trained on how to use the equipment properly.
10. Always maintain a safe distance from loaded mortars.
These tips were inspired by OSHA's recommendations for working with fireworks, and are a reminder of how to stay safe this season when operating with highly flammable materials. Fireworks are incredibly fun, but also incredibly dangerous causing serious injury and even death so safety precautions should be taken seriously. For companies that use and operate fireworks it is important that staff is properly trained, equipped, and regulations are followed so that lives are kept safe and no fines are incurred.
To help you accomplish keeping your team safe here are some recommended product categories to consider:
- High Visibility Clothing and Vests
- Fire Resistant Apparel (Also check out FRSafety.com)
- Gloves (consider ARC Flash Gloves)
- Hearing Protection
- Face Shields / Safety Glasses
- Fire Extinguishers
- Tarps & Sandbags
- Portable Tents
- First Aid Kits, including Burn Kits
- Two-Way Radios
- Barricade Fencing
- Cones & Barricade Tape (Caution, etc.)
- Traffic Signaling
Your friends at Ritz Safety hope you, your family and your friends have a wonderful, safe 4th of July weekend!