New Year’s Eve is a joyous time for all. Ringing in the New Year brings forth parties where guests follow any number of New Year’s traditions to celebrate. Most New Year’s Eve parties consist of drinking, merriment and oftentimes festive fireworks, particularly sparklers, “bottle rockets” and confetti blasters. While fireworks present a great spectacle and rousing amusement, it is important to remember that these are not toys. Fireworks, in essence, are really just aesthetically pleasing explosions and fire. For this reason, it is important, especially around New Year’s Eve to be extremely careful with their usage.
New Year’s Firework Hazards
There is one key ingredient that separates New Year’s Eve firework hazards from any other holiday that makes use of the explosive products: alcohol. While it is common to have beer available at a common Independence Day barbecue, New Year’s Eve parties oftentimes bring out the harder liquor in addition to the champagne. Hard liquor is of course extremely flammable, and flames lead to burns. Also, partiers will oftentimes light their sparklers indoors due to the cold outside. This can be a recipe for disaster! Sparklers can burn at up to 2000 degrees! Not only does this present an incredibly serious burn hazard, but combined with close proximity indoors and the influence of alcohol, this can lead to serious injury; not to mention the fact that stray sparks can catch on flammable surfaces indoors. Finally, “bottle rockets” are fireworks that are meant to be launched from a standing, upright and fixed position, typically with the launcher planted into the ground. A popular substitute is to launch the firework from an empty bottle, hence the name. The empty bottles at a New Year’s party are likely to come from bottle’s that once contained alcohol, and likely still have a small amount left.
To make sure you and your fellow New Year’s Eve revelers stay safe and celebratory this season, follow these important safety tips:
- Keep fireworks, sparklers and any other source of flame away from alcohol or other flammable material
- Do NOT let children play with fireworks or ignite fireworks
- Do NOT point fireworks at other people or flammable objects
- Be ready with a hose, water bucket, or fire extinguisher in case of incident
- Once a sparkler or firework is out or finished burning, be sure to douse it in water
- Do NOT purchase or use fireworks if your municipality or state prohibits their usage
- Do NOT shoot off fireworks from metal or glass containers
- Do NOT use fireworks under the influence of alcohol
- Do NOT attempt to relight fireworks that have not fully burned or lit up
A full list of tips from the CSPC is available here. Enjoying and engaging in festive fun should be the goal this holiday, but it is always important to remain vigilant and prevent an incident from happening in your home.