Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers are just a few ways Americans celebrate the 4th of July. If you are not careful, you could be one of the thousands of people treated for fireworks-related injuries each year.

The National Safety Council advises everyone to leave fireworks to the experts: Enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and don’t use any fireworks at home. While they may be legal, they are not safe.

If you choose to use fireworks, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light them indoors.
  • Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable material.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.

Rather than sparklers, which can burn hot enough to melt some metals, consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.