4th of July weekend is coming up and everyone in the Quad Cities is looking forward to a wonderful weekend celebrating America's birthday. With the holiday coming up, you're going to be hearing a lot of fireworks bursting in the Quad Cities night sky. If you plan on being the person setting those off, here are 5 tips to make sure you're staying safe the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

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Fireworks are fun to watch explode in the sky, especially as we celebrate Independence Day. For some, they like shooting off the fireworks themselves. While many people consider themselves professionals when it comes to shooting off fireworks, there are actually professionals who are certified and have the proper paperwork.

Besides the professionals and those who think they are, there are also going to be people in the Quad Cities that will try and shoot them off for the first time.

Whether you're a firework professional, have been shooting them off on your property for years, or are someone who will attempt to shoot fireworks for the first time, these are always important safety tips to remember. These tips help ensure the safety of those shooting the fireworks, the people watching, and those who aren't.

1. Who Should Be Shooting The Fireworks

No child should ever handle fireworks. We know sparklers are popular with kids, but sparklers can reach up to 2,000° and kids using sparklers should be under adult supervision. Anyone handling fireworks should be the age of 18 or older.

Sober adults should be the only ones handling fireworks. Alcohol doesn't go well with driving and most definitely doesn't mix well with shooting off fireworks.

2. How To Handle Fireworks

When shooting off fireworks, handling them is extremely important. Any misuse of fireworks could result in a trip to the E.R. or worse.

Always shoot fireworks off of a hard surface that is also level. Grass, gravel, and sand surfaces are not hard and not level. A firework that isn't level could shoot in a direction you didn't plan for.

When using fireworks, you could also brace or bury them. This keeps them stable and from tipping over when shooting off.

Never attempt to relight a dud. If you light a malfunctioned firework, wait at least 5 minutes and up to 30 minutes to make sure it truly isn't working. After that amount of time has passed, dump a lot of water on the firework.

3. Times To Shoot Them Off

On the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, "consumer fireworks" are illegal throughout the state. If you get caught using them in Illinois, you could see a fine of $2,500 or a year in prison.

Iowa is a lot more lenient when it comes to fireworks. Every city in Iowa has its own rules and regulations when it comes to fireworks. Davenport recently shortened the time to shoot off fireworks in 2022. Make sure to check with your local government for ordinances on fireworks.

No matter what, make sure you're not shooting them off at 2 a.m. Be a good neighbor and shoot them off during the allowed dates and times. Fireworks can give dogs and pets a lot of anxiety. You also may live next to someone who fought for our country, has had a traumatic experience with guns or fireworks, and suffers from PTSD. People also have babies so please be considerate.

Don't forget, we all have to work on Tuesday, July 5th. Get some sleep.

4.  Where To Shoot Them Off

If you plan on shooting off fireworks yourself, make sure you do it in an open area where there is plenty of distance between the launch site and the audience.

Make sure fireworks are far away from houses, cars, and other property. Firework debris that comes down can still be very hot which can cause fires and damage to property.

Your neighbors also don't like picking up your fireworks trash. While it's slightly difficult to control where things land, not firing off fireworks in a residential neighborhood prevents things from landing in your neighbors' yards.

5. Don't Do It

There are so many firework shows happening in the Quad Cities and the surrounding area that are free and awesome that you can see.

We're not trying to put fireworks places out of business by any means, but if you're trying to save some extra cash, not hurt yourself or the people around you, be a good neighbor, and not burn anything down, go watch the professionals at one of the several firework shows in the QCA. We have a full list of fireworks shows in our 4th of July Guide.

Tips sourced from fireworks.com and common sense.

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