Preparation Sparks a Safe Fireworks Show

Use these tips from OSHA to arrange a pyrotechnic display at your facility

July 2, 2020

If your facility is arranging a firework display this weekend, proper preparation not only guarantees a colorful and enjoyable show, but a safe show as well. Follow these tips from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) both before the show and afterward for cleanup. 

Before the show: 

  • Wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing made of cotton, wool, or similar flame-resistant cloth. This ensures that if something were to go wrong, there would be another layer of protection, so ones’ skin isn’t burned quickly. Protective equipment is always the safest option as well, especially for head, eye, ears, and feet. 
  • Maintain crowd control, utilizing monitors, and/or barriers. Large crowds are extremely hard to keep contained, but with the help of local officials and a well thought out plan, the fireworks display can be performed safely. Making sure fire service and EMS units are available and ready to respond is crucial to prepare for an emergency. 
  • Ensure those setting off the fireworks avoid placing any portion of their body over mortars when manually igniting them. It’s important to consider how dangerous fireworks truly are, and how to properly ignite them. By making sure you are out of harm’s way, it dramatically decreases the chance of you or others being hurt by the explosives.

After the show:

  • Conduct a search of the display and fallout areas. By wearing the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleanup duties, cleaning up the show’s remains is a breeze. Waiting for at least 15 minutes allows for any potential fire hazards to have cooled and be disposed of properly. Be sure to disable/disconnect anything electric nearby as well and make note of the warning procedures on the unexploded shells.
  • Conduct a second site search the next morning, at first light. Having all products accounted for is vital to making sure others are safe and bystanders have not taken any fireworks that did not go off for their own use.
  • Ensure that all unused live products and duds are accounted for, properly handled, repackaged, and secured according to federal, state, and local regulations.

By following these guidelines, your facility’s fireworks display will be a success.

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