With the 4th of July just on the horizon, I figured I'd talk about fireworks safety. I've been setting off fireworks every year for the fourth since I was three so well over a decade of experience. I know many of you will be setting off fireworks and getting hurt is not the best way to spend the holiday. The best way to spend the holiday is with a cool drink, friends and family, and some pretty lights in the sky. To that end, here are 5 firework safety tips

1. If you plan to set off fireworks in the grass, lightly water it first


You don't have to do this but it can be a good idea. The grass being just slightly wet will keep it from catching fire. A cousin of mine accidentally set his lawn on fire due to his grass being very dry.

2. Don't over do it


Fireworks can be a lot of fun. However, that doesn't mean you should set them off until two in the morning. If you live out in the middle of nowhere then have at it, but if you live in a slightly more populated area your neighbors are not going to like hearing that at two in the morning.

3. Smoke bombs can be more of a pain than you think


Smoke bombs can be a lot of fun and are safer for kids to play with than firecrackers. That doesn't mean they are completely safe. First, if they are colored at all they will definitely stain whatever surface you set them off on. My great aunt has stains from a decade ago still on her driveway. Second, the smoke itself can be very toxic if breathed in heavily. It should go without saying but I'll say it anyways, DON'T HUFF SMOKE BOMBS.

4. Big booms can come in small packages


Don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge a firework by its size. When I was a kid there was a firework called Kyptonite. It was about the size of a flash drive and looked very unsuspecting. People thought it was a colored firecracker, they were very wrong. That little thing threw up so many sparks it looked like someone set off some Thermite. Don't think because its small it won't do much.

5. Use your common sense


This should be a no brainer, but I have met people that made me question whether they had a brain. Don't point a firework in a direction you know not to point it in. If you're going to let kids set off some fireworks, think about how old they are. If you're giving fireworks to a 6 year old, sparklers are probably fine, roman candles are very not fine. This is very basic stuff.

Just a few tips for dealing with fireworks. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, but for the average Joe this will do. Be safe when playing with fireworks everyone.