Fireworks in Montana are common around the Fourth of July. Most people are able to use fireworks safely and injury or damage to property are not common. However, every year there are injuries from either firework explosions or flames and damage to property due to improper use or fire. In fact, fireworks cause an average of 18,500 fires each year. ( In Montana, you also need to concerned with weather conditions as you do want to unknowingly cause a wildfire.

Here are some recommended safety tips to keep you and your family safe, this Fourth of July.

Only purchase legal fireworks. Check your local laws. As a consumer, you should never purchase commercial-grade fireworks.

Never allow young children to handle fireworks.

Do not use fireworks while impaired from drugs or alcohol.

When lighting fireworks, it is recommended to wear protective eyewear.

Never point fireworks at a person, animal, home or structure.

Keep a safe distance after lighting a firework.

Do not light fireworks in dry grass or a wooded area.

Do not light fireworks if the local fire department has asked the public not to due to fire concerns or dry conditions.

Sparklers are also a concern. While many people think sparklers are safe for young children to hold, sparklers burn at 2000 degrees. This is extremely hot. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.

We encourage everyone to follow safe fireworks handling procedures. Never leave children unattended with fireworks. Remember that common sense can go a long way in preventing injuries and fires this Fourth of July.