Since 1994, the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory has been testing fireworks in China for compliance with U.S. manufacturing and performance standards as enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition, the AFSL’s Standards Committee periodically reviews the standards with a view to increasing the safety margins, conducts seminars in China on quality control, and makes on-site factory visits to improve the manufacturing process.
We can maintain and improve our safety record with consumer fireworks by following the basic rules on consumer fireworks use. Some of the basic fireworks safety rules include:
1. Never allow children to handle fireworks. Only sober adults should handle and ignite the fireworks.
2. Use in a clear, open space. Shoot on a hard, flat surface. Keep your audience a safe distance from your launch site and fallout zones.
3. Have a ready source of water close by. A connected hose is best, but a bucket of water or fire extinguisher will suffice.
4. Do not relight duds. Follow your local laws. Use a long-neck butane lighter to light the fireworks. Never put any part of your body over a firework or in its travel path.
The fireworks industry is proud of the improving safety record. Americans’ love for fireworks was beautifully expressed by (then future) second U.S. President John Adams on July 3, 1776, when he wrote to his wife, Abigail, and proclaimed that Independence Day: “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade … bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”
Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely in accordance with the laws of Alabama.
William A. Weimer