For some, the arrival of summer long weekends mean one thing: fireworks. And sure, they’re fun, but boy can they be dangerous. So to help you create a display that’s both spectacular and safe, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to put on a show without having to call the fire department.
Invest in quality fireworks
Fireworks may be pricey, but good fireworks are worth the money. Don’t try making them yourself, and don’t buy old ones from some bargain basement. This may sound like common sense, but the number of fires started by home fireworks displays is staggering. Select a range of fireworks for the full duration of the show. And set a budget, because these things can add up quickly.
Decide on an order
There’s no right or wrong here, but a good basic structure to a fireworks display is to start with a bang. This gets everyone’s attention. Then you can move on to a range of different effects. All fireworks should have a description of what they do, or you can always do a little research online. The finale is obviously the most important part of the show. Save your biggest rockets and bangers for this time, and if you can combine multiple fireworks safely, then go for it. A great ending to your show will make everyone forget about any mishaps during the middle.
Set up in the light
Everything is easier in daylight. So decide where you want to set your fireworks off and arrange the order so it’ll be easy to work with once it’s dark. A large flat area, free of dry grass is a good start. Then remember to look up. Don’t position your entire display under an overhanging tree. A big, metal bucket filled with sand is a great place to set off fireworks, a large sandbox is even better. Arranging them in a long line with one person lighting fireworks at each end of the line makes things easy and safe. Just be sure to space them well enough so this doesn’t happen! Make sure to push the fireworks firmly into the sand.
Wait until dark
This may be a tall order in the long days of summer, especially for the little ones, but nothing is less impressive than a fountain of sparks in the daylight. Enlist a helper who knows where everything is, and use a long barbecue lighter to light the fuses safely. If some fireworks don’t go off, douse them with a full bucket of water before approaching and continuing.
Safety above all
It goes without saying that safety is the real key to a successful fireworks display. Have a large bucket of water on hand and a hose if necessary. A bucket full of sand and a fire extinguisher wouldn’t be the worst things to have around either. Keep the crowd a safe distance from the detonation zone. You could also keep any pets indoors, as their reaction may be unpredictable. And rule number two after being safe? Have fun!