WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- If at a New Year's Eve party where consumer fireworks are shot, make sure there is a designated shooter who has not been drinking, U.S. experts say.
Nancy Blogin, president of the National Council on Fireworks Safety, said even a small quantity of alcohol -- one beer or a glass of wine -- can impair one's judgment and ability to properly set up and ignite consumer fireworks safely.
Make your New Year's celebration a "professional affair" by designating a shooter who reads each firework label in advance, knows the fireworks, sets up the shooting area, puts on a beautiful and safe display, and then cleans up the shoot site and prepares the debris for safe disposal, Blogin said.
"Each New Year's Eve, consumers are injured because their judgment has been impaired by beer, wine or other alcoholic drink," Blogin said in a statement. "The lesson is simple: alcohol and fireworks don't mix."
The council reminds shooters of consumer fireworks of these important safety tips:
-- Only use fireworks outdoors free of overhead obstructions and away from dry grass or other flammable materials.
-- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
-- Never give fireworks to young children.
-- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
-- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
-- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until morning.