Though it may seem like winter is an ideal time to do sparklers, fireworks, and other types of flammable novelties outdoors, you still need to pay close attention to safety. With all the snow sitting around on your lawn and rooftop, it may seem like starting a fire would be tough because of all that moisture. However, the real fact of the matter is that winter is one of the driest times of the year and starting a fire accidentally is much easier than you probably think.
Though snow itself is made of water and obviously won’t catch on fire, things like trees, shrubs, and even buildings are in their driest state. As the cold weather moves in, it sucks all the available moisture from wherever it can because the humidity is so low, and that leads to very dry items all around that are literally waiting to go up with the smallest spark. So you may be asking “how can I safely do sparklers and fireworks outside during the winter if everything is just waiting to go up in flames”? The answer is to practice basic fireworks safety regardless if it’s negative 20 degrees outside or a sweltering 100 degrees. Here is a rundown of basic fireworks safety tips that should always be observed when lighting things like sparklers during the winter.
Avoid Dry Lawns
Though it doesn’t apply to everyone, there are some areas in the United States that get cold and dry but see very little snow to cover the lawn. This type of situation makes it ideal for an accidental fire, and you could inadvertently start one with something as small as a few sparks from your burning sparklers. Try to use your fireworks over your concrete driveway even if there is a light dusting of snow on the grass.
Water Your Lawn
If you do have exposed grass or the temperature doesn’t drop as drastically as it does in the northern states where you live, it’s always a great idea to run the sprinklers ahead of time. Though you should still try to do your sparklers and other fireworks over a solid surface like concrete, a moist lawn will not be as easy to go up in flames if the wind carries some sparks in the wrong direction.
Have Water Ready
As always, you should make sure you have a good supply of water on hand in the event something goes wrong. It’s always good to have at least a 5 gallon bucket of water nearby, by even more is preferable. A fire extinguisher may not be a bad idea either.
All Hands on Deck
Make sure you discuss what to do if a fire does start burning. The last thing you want is people gawking and laughing in the background or filming the fire to post on Facebook later when they should be scrambling to help put out the fire.
Use Items Appropriately
I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the instructions on the labels of your fireworks. For instance, never point or throw sparklers at other people. Never manipulate a firework to see what will happen. By using your fireworks properly with good common sense, the chance of starting a fire or someone getting injured is very low and you can safely enjoy your fireworks in the winter months.
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