Fireworks are a big part of American summer celebrations, especially around the 4th of July. But they are also a major cause of injury. In 2019, over 9,000 people were treated for injuries related to fireworks, and more than half of those happened in the month around the July 4th holiday. Luckily, there are tried-and-true ways that you and your family can enjoy fireworks on Independence Day while staying safe.
Go to a Public Firework Display
The best way to stay safe while enjoying fireworks is to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals. The City of Albuquerque recommends attending their annual Freedom Fourth celebration, and Rio Rancho holds its own Fireworks Extravaganza each year as well. There are also many private entities that put on fireworks displays, such as the Albuquerque Isotopes. You can attend these events or simply watch them from a safe distance.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many events have been canceled this year. While cities may put on displays for people to watch from their homes, there won’t be any scheduled fireworks events that you can attend on July 4, 2020 in New Mexico.
Know the Facts About Legal and Illegal Fireworks
Each city has its own rules for fireworks. In order to enjoy your home firework show, you should know which fireworks are legal or illegal in your neighborhood.
In Rio Rancho, fireworks that go higher than 10 feet and are louder than a cap gun are prohibited. If you purchase your fireworks within city limits, you can rest assured that they have been inspected by the Fire and Rescue department to meet a “Safe and Sane” criteria. You can also look for the “Safe and Sane” label on fireworks, as it means that the firework will not fly or explode and is legal for home use in Rio Rancho.
In Albuquerque, you are legally allowed to use the following fireworks:
Toy smoke devices
However, the City of Albuquerque has outlawed the following fireworks:
Ground audible devices, including chasers and fire crackers
Aerial devices, including aerie shell kits, reloadable tubes, aerial spinners, helicopters, mines, and missile-type fireworks
Again, your best bet for knowing that a firework is legal within city limits is to purchase it from a vendor inside the city. You can also look at the warning label. If the label says “WARNING”, it’s illegal; if it says “CAUTION”, it’s legal.
How to Keep Your Home Fireworks Display Safe
If you do decide to have a fireworks display at home, it’s important to ensure that you follow some guidelines to maintain safety. First, never set off fireworks on “Red Flag Warning” days because there is an extreme risk of fire danger. Regardless of the weather, make sure that you have a water source nearby to put out fires before they get out of control.
Always follow the directions on the fireworks before you use them. You should only set fireworks off outdoors on a paved area that is free of any vegetation and far from homes or other combustible materials. Also, make sure that children are supervised when setting off fireworks. When you’re done, put used fireworks in a bucket of water to make sure that they don’t smolder and cause a fire in your trash.
If there is any kind of emergency, make sure to dial 911.
By following proper guidelines and safety precautions, you can enjoy your 4th of July fireworks from home. If you or someone you love is injured by a firework due to someone else’s negligence, contact Sanchez & Pinon, Rio Rancho’s personal injury attorneys.