Officials: Insurance may not cover fireworks-related damage

OKLAHOMA CITY – Families across the state will be taking part in Fourth of July celebrations, but insurance experts say there are a few things you should know in case of an accident.

The National Fire Protection Association says people report more fires on Independence Day than any other day of the year. However, officials say that homeowners insurance may not cover damage caused by fireworks.

Officials with the Oklahoma Insurance Department say any injuries as a result of fireworks will likely be covered by your health insurance, and your homeowner’s policy steps in when fireworks injure someone else.

If you’re going to celebrate the Fourth of July with firecrackers and other explosives, consider taking the following precautions:

  • Always have adult supervision when handling fireworks.
  • Never use them while intoxicated.
  • Don’t throw or aim them at other people.
  • Have a hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Always wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks.
  • Keep all spectators at a reasonable and safe distance.
  • Keep dogs and other pets away.
  • Follow and read the directions carefully.
  • Allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes.
  • Later, cover them in water, then drain and put them in a plastic bag before throwing them away.
  • Do the same with any duds that don’t go off after a few minutes.
  • Don’t try to relight duds.
  • Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
  • Only use them outdoors on a flat, fireproof, hard surface that’s free from flammable material.

Officials say setting off fireworks is illegal without a permit in most major towns and cities in Oklahoma.