As we prepare for this year’s mid-week Fourth of July holiday, a time when even the most honest and lawful citizens suddenly become devious pyromaniacs in their quest to find the largest and most questionably-legal explosives within driving distance, we should review some best practices for how to transport fireworks as safely as possible.
The first and most obvious step in seeking out fireworks this weekend is checking your local laws about which fireworks are legal, as well as any rules about where you’re allowed to safely fire them off. If they’re not legal in your area, technically you shouldn’t be transporting them.
Assuming there’s enough legal leeway in finishing off your Fourth of July celebrations with an impressionist aerial reenactment of the Revolutionary War, just as the founding fathers intended, at some point the fireworks are going to end up in your car, so here are some tips on how to handle them as safely as possible.
The Department of Transportation reminds you to never light a firework or fuse from inside a vehicle, moving or stationary. That would seem pretty obvious, and yet:
The feds also advises that you transport fireworks in a spark-proof container. They suggest a cardboard box, but one of those plastic containers that can be sealed seems like it’d be even safer. Put whichever container you’re using to carry your fireworks in the trunk, or bed of the truck, and not in the passenger compartment.
Basically just as far away from passengers as possible. It’s both to make sure your as safe as possible should something spark up, but also makes sure whoever’s in the backseat, who promised not to light anything but still had that suspicious grin on their face, actually doesn’t light anything.
And the final tip from the government is to make sure any fireworks in the car are not in direct sunlight. You should always be parking in the shade, anyway.
Some other tips and best practices would be clearing the car of any sort of unnecessary and potentially flammable materials, like fuel containers, alcohol, blow torches, paint thinners, etc. to help prevent and mitigate any catastrophic incidents. It’d be pretty smart to make sure you don’t even have a lighter in the car, and if you bought one with your new fireworks, keep it in its container and stashed away from everybody’s hands.
If you planned on going longer distances with your fireworks in hand, I’m sad to say they are strictly forbidden from commercial flights. Don’t even try it, the TSA will not “let this one go.”