The 4th of July is an exciting time of the year for many families and individuals as they celebrate with barbeques, parades, boating, campfires and most of all, fireworks. Whether you are going to a professional firework show or lighting your own at home, always remember firework safety.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2017 over 12,000 people were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Even smaller fireworks such as sparklers and firecrackers are more dangerous than you may think.
Aside from personal injury, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year including structural fires, vehicle fires and more.
Celebrate your Independence Day smart. Follow these tips on how to use fireworks safely.
Firework Safety Tips:
- Never give fireworks to small children, including sparklers, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck, and eyes.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud”.
- Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- If you are lighting fireworks at home, make sure it is in a clear, open area away from houses, buildings or dry flammable areas.
- Have a designated person on alert with a fire extinguisher or supply of water close-by as a precaution.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding to make sure the heat is completely extinguished.
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays. Fireworks can backfire or shoot in the wrong direction and bystanders can be injured.
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks if you do not feel safe.
- Keep your pets inside. Although pets are part of our family, do not bring dogs to the fireworks as loud sounds may scare them or they may chase after a firework like a toy.
- Always store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.