Stay Safe While Enjoying Fireworks
July 2, 2018
The Fourth of July is approaching, and for many people, that means barbecue and fireworks. Lots of people like to see the colors fly through the night air, but it is important to keep in mind that fireworks are explosives and they can cause injuries if not used correctly!
According to a new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 200 people, on average, go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries in the days surrounding the Fourth of July. In fact, 11,100 people were injured and treated in U.S. emergency rooms last year. The groups most injured last year? Young adults ages 20 to 24 and children under 5 years old.
Fireworks can be dangerous, but you can help prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by helping to promote fireworks safety in your community and by following these fireworks safety tips:
- Check local laws - make sure you aren't using fireworks in a no-fireworks area. If you live in an area that bans fireworks, check out community-wide celebration events, like the Celebration on the River.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper - this is a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays. Leave professional fireworks to the professionals!
- Always have an adult supervise all fireworks activities, even sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees and can cause serious burns!
- Don't place any body part directly over a firework when lighting the fuse and back up to a safe space after lighting.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that did not fully light.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of fire.
- Light fireworks one at a time.
- Don't carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks have finished burning, douse the used device in water to prevent trash fires.
Don't forget your pets! Fireworks often explode with bright lights, loud booms, or high-pitched noises, which can scare animals and increase chances of them running away. Leave your pets at home when you go to parties and consider putting them inside your house in a safe place during fireworks displays. After the celebration, check your yard for debris before letting pets outside to play. Curious animals may pick up used fireworks or other debris (food scraps, skewers, etc.) to play with or eat, which can cause them harm.
By following these safety practices, you can have a fun and safe Fourth of July!