Go Safe or Go Boom: Learn the Guidelines for Traveling Safely with Fireworks
Friction can cause fireworks to ignite, putting you and fellow travelers at risk
July 4th is coming up, and you know what that means: fireworks!
Although everyone loves a good fireworks show, you should leave them at home if you're traveling anywhere, especially by plane.
"Even the smallest firework novelty items such as sparklers, bang snaps, and black snakes are considered explosives and pose a safety risk to airplanes," states the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). "Whether in your pockets, carry-ons, or checked baggage, there's a risk that friction can cause fireworks to ignite during flight, putting you, your fellow passengers, and the crew members at high risk of fire."
For this reason, passengers in possession of fireworks or firework novelty items are not allowed to board planes—entertainment isn't worth the potential loss of life. If you do, you may have to pay up to $75,000 as a penalty, an amount that rises to $175,000 in situations in which death, serious illness or injury, or the significant destruction of property occurs.
It's not just airplanes
Airplanes are not the only mode of transportation that can be harmed by fireworks. The explosives are also a danger to motor vehicles.
Though it is best to simply leave the fireworks at home when you travel, remember these safety guidelines if you have to drive with them:
- Do not try to light a firework or fuse inside a vehicle whether you're a passenger or the driver.
- Never smoke anywhere near fireworks.
- Put the fireworks inside a spark-proof container, like a cardboard box, for transport.
- Transport the explosives in your trunk, not the passenger compartment.
- If your vehicle doesn't have a trunk, put them in a place where they will always be kept out of direct sunlight.