July 2, 2016

In this clip from The Late Show, with Stephen Colbert, we see an excellent new tip on firework safety. He opens with a new slogan for Colbert (and my) home-state: "South Carolina: Come for the fireworks, stay because you are in Intensive Care." Wait, isn't that Florida? Oh yeah, that is gators and guns Intensive Care.

Then he demonstrates "safe firework handling." Now, to most of us that involves professionally trained firework specialists, outdoors, lots of clear space, no fire hazards. Not for our intrepid Stephen Colbert. I am not going to ruin how the clip ends. It is hilarious.

In all seriousness, the National Council on Fireworks Safety (yes, this really does exist) recommends the following safety checklist be followed:

  1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  2. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  3. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  7. Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  8. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  9. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  10. Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  11. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  13. FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  14. Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

Please be safe this holiday weekend! July 4th is all about the United States gaining independence from England 240 years ago. It is also the time for barbecuing, beaches, fireworks and huge sales on fall clothes and winter coats (yes, I am serious).

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