Fireworks safety tips as families hit the stores this holiday weekend

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - This is the peak fireworks-buying season for many families.

We found Kevin and Ian O'Beirne at TNT Fireworks on South Memorial Parkway.

"We're buying about half the store, it looks like!" commented Kevin. "A little bit of everything. Anything that looks like it has a good explosion, and it has a lot of shots to it, I try to get that. Those are the fun ones."

He said fireworks are a tradition for his family.

"It's a tradition that my dad gave to me," he explained. "They always tried to put on a show for the kids, so I try to do the same.

He appreciates the sense of wonder fireworks can bring to children and adults alike.

Michael Gallagher is one of those adults looking for a big boom each 4th of July.

"I like the aerials just because it's the big bang effect," he said. "I like blowing stuff up. It's the American tradition for the Fourth of July!"

But Gallagher and Kevin O'Beirne know the fireworks aren't fun unless they are used safely.

"I set it up, kind of far away from everybody," said O'Beirne, who noted he does not let the children handle the fireworks. "I spread it out and keep a garden hose close! You may need it."

"I make sure we have buckets of water and sand," explained Gallagher. "And with a lot of kids around, you want to make sure you know where they are and that they're secure."

The following additional safety tips are provided by the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

For more tips from the council, click here.