Unfortunately, many people feel they are qualified to launch consumer fireworks though they have no safety training whatsoever. Launching any type of firework near people without safety in mind is like choosing to drive a car through a crowd in a park while wearing a blindfold. Over the years we have handled several firework injury cases. Things to keep in mind: 1) Launch aerial fireworks only in a mortar tube supplied by the manufacturer; never use your own improvised launch tube. Why? An unsuitable tube can shatter and spread shrapnel from the point of the explosion. Mortars that are not sized to the firework may prevent the firework from lifting into the air, and instead the lift load and payload might explode together inside the tube, or not launch in a controlled trajectory, again sending out fragments and shrapnel, or sending the firework in an unanticipated direction. 2) Follow the required labels on consumer reloadable aerial fireworks that require use of only the mortar tubes supplied in kits that are supplied with the reloadable aerial shells. It is a serious breach of safety to use materials other than those supplied or consistent with the instructions on the fireworks label. 3) Ensure a safe audience separation distance from the aerial reloadable fireworks device. American Pyrotechnic Association and National Council on Fireworks Safety guidelines, promulgated to the public, advise a separation of at least (40) forty feet from such devices to the nearest spectators.
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