NEW ORLEANS (BRPROUD) — Louisiana Red Cross shares firework safety tips ahead of New Year’s celebrations.

Louisiana Red Cross says you should follow these safety tips:

  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, homes, structures or flammable materials.
  • Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

The nonprofit organization says the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to let the professionals put on the show and stay at least 500 feet away.

Louisiana Red Cross said they have assisted over 990 Louisiana residents affected by 245 home, apartment, and hotel fires since Nov. 1.