Arlington County Reminds Us: Don’t be a Dumbass with the Fireworks

Come on, folks. How many local people will the Post report as having blown off a finger this Fourth of July? Don’t be a dumbass. Don’t hold explosives and wait for them to go off. Don’t put that cherry bomb in your mouth. Don’t put something explosive into something that shatters easily. You dumbass.

Arlington County has posted a good list of guidelines to follow when dealing with fireworks, adopted from FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration. The coolest thing is that you can play a variant of the ever-popular fortune cookie game. At the end of each line, add, “Unless you are a dumbass.” Read on:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never shoot a firework at or near another person.
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.

    This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

    Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

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