Stay Independent this Fourth of July

Safety, Injury Prevention

 

Fireworks

Fireworks and the 4th of July go together like brats and buns.

But, with many celebrations and fireworks displays canceled this year, more people may try to light up the sky at home.

But without proper training, this may lead to tragedy -- a loss of independence and, in worse case scenarios, the loss of life.

According to the National Safety Council, 17 people died, and more than 12,000 people were injured by fireworks in 2017. Half of those injured were under 20 years of age. Even the most “harmless” of fireworks cause injury. Firecrackers cause nearly a fifth of fireworks-related injuries. Sparklers cause another 25 percent.

According to a June 26, 2019 press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 62 percent of fireworks injuries that occurred in 2018 happened between June 22 and July 22.

Here are a few reminders about fireworks safety to help you steer clear of already crowded emergency rooms this year.

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B
e careful when choosing fireworks.

  • Save yourself some time, frustration, and embarrassment. Check your city, county, and
    state laws about when, where, and how you can light fireworks. Nothing stops a
    celebration faster than red and blue flashing lights. 

  • Only buy legal fireworks.

  • Pass on fireworks wrapped in brown paper. This packaging may indicate they were part
    of a professional display.

  • Avoid using homemade fireworks. They are a recipe for disaster. Leave the pyrotechnics to the
    professionals.

Store fireworks safely

  • Fireworks are explosives; handle them with extreme care.

  • Place unused fireworks in a cool, dry place away from combustible materials.

  • Follow any special storage instructions on the package.

Carry fireworks safely. Avoid putting fireworks in your pockets. If they ignite, they can cause serious injury.

Be Prepared

In 2017, fireworks caused about 18,500 fires. Before you light one match or flick a lighter, make sure you have fast access to water to put out hot spots.

  • Turn on the hose

  • Fill a bucket

You’ll need to pour water overused firework cartridges, duds, and misfires before
throwing them in the trash.

Sparklers held by a man and womanKeep a close eye on children

Children of all ages are fascinated by fire and sparks.

Supervise children near fireworks. Even sparklers, which can reach temperatures hot enough to melt metal, can cause injury.
Keep children a safe distance away from firecrackers and other fireworks that explode from the ground.

Use Fireworks safely

  • Only use fireworks if there is no fire danger in your area. 

  • Don’t shoot fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Wear protective glasses or goggles if you’re lighting fireworks.

  • Place unlit fireworks away from the active firing area.

  • Keep your arms, legs, hands, and feet away from burning fuses or fireworks.

  • Never hold fireworks when the fuse is lit.

  • Light one firecracker or rocket at a time and move a safe distance away from the explosion.

  • Don’t light fireworks in a glass or metal container.

  • Don’t light fireworks inside a building.

  • Never point or throw fireworks towards another person.

  • Use fireworks a safe distance away from houses, woods, or cars.

Never re-light or handle a dud. It could explode at any moment. Instead, soak any misfired or failed-to-launch cartridges or rockets in water and throw them away.

Fireworks are fun to watch, but even professionals respect how dangerous they can be. If you use them, use extreme caution.

We wish you and you’re a safe and healthy summer full of memories and free of injury.

Sources:
https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/fireworks#:~:text=In%202017%2C%20eight%20people%20died,June%2016%20to%20July%2016.
https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks

 

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