Everyone enjoys a great fireworks display, especially during the festive Fourth of July holiday weekend, but consumers need to be careful and approach the holiday safely.

Not only are most fireworks illegal in the state of New Jersey, but they are also extremely dangerous - not only to people, but to pets as well. The loud noises from fireworks and other festivities can be stressful and terrifying for our pets and is why the shelters are packed the next day with runaways.

Before heading out to that 4th of July BBQ or town fireworks display this weekend, be sure to check out our Top 10 Fireworks Safety Tips:

  • 1

    Fireworks in NJ Are Illegal

    Only paper or plastic caps for use in toy guns are legal - all others are not.  Even sparklers & novelty items like smoke grenades, firecrackers and roman candles are deemed illegal without a permit in the state of New Jersey.  Always be sure to obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

  • 2

    Alcohol & Fireworks Do Not Mix

    If you are able to perform a legal fireworks display, do not do so while under the influence of alcohol.  Alcohol will seriously disrupt cognitive abilities and puts you and everyone in your vicinity in severe danger.  Save celebratory drinks for after the show.

  • 3

    Dispose of Fireworks Correctly

    According to the National Council of Fireworks Safety, you should dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day

  • 4

    Keep Your Pets Indoors

    Fireworks displays may light up the eyes of children and adults, but can cause serious panic to your beloved pets.  The extremely loud noises could result in them running away and even jumping fences in an attempt to find safety.  When you go out to see the fireworks, leave the pets at home.

  • 5

    Never Relight a “Dud” Firework

    Just because a firework didn't ignite correctly the first time doesn't mean that it is inactive.  In fact, a "dud" firework could be even more prone to explode early a second time around.  If you come across an undetonated firework, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • 6

    Don't Feed Your Pets BBQ Food

    It wouldn't be the 4th of July without a BBQ.  Some pet owners often feel the need to share table-food with their animals.  This is usually a bad idea and even more dangerous during BBQs.  Popular ingredients such as onions, avocado, grapes, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for both cats and dogs.

  • 7

    Keep Pets Away from Flames

    You and your guests may find it entertaining to have your dog included in the BBQ festivities, but be sure to always keep them a safe distance away from flames.  Smoke inhalation isn't the only possible issue: the accidental ingestion of lighter fluid and/or matches can be a serious problem for pets.

  • 8

    Practice Safety

    Even in the safest of demonstrations, there is always the threat of something going wrong.  Be sure to wear safety glasses and always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

  • 9

    Never Carry Fireworks in Your Pocket

    Fireworks are explosives and should be treated with the upmost care.  Carrying them in your pocket is foolish and could result in a dangerous discharge.

  • 10

    Report Illegal Explosives

    As we know, most fireworks are illegal in the state of New Jersey and it's unlikely that your neighbor has filed the proper permits.  Keep the whole neighborhood safe and be sure to report illegal activities.