Holidays are always an exciting and fun time for family and friends to come together to celebrate, but it can also lead to unwanted emergency room visits. The Fourth of July is considered the most dangerous U.S. holiday due to unsafe firing of fireworks or homemade explosives.
According to the 2017 Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Annual Report, at least eight people died and about 12,900 were severely injured requiring medical treatment. Safety should always remain the number one priority to help decrease incidents.
Keep in mind that fireworks are not legal in every city and state, so before purchasing and using fireworks you should do research to see what is legal in your area. Many states allow “novelty” fireworks, such as sparklers, snappers, poppers and snakes, but they may not allow consumer fireworks.
10 Fireworks Safety Tips
1. Fireworks are not toys – ensure that they are kept away from children and all instructions are followed when igniting them. Even novelty fireworks should be used with extreme caution and children under 12 years old should be watched very closely by an adult when using them.
2. Never pass fireworks that are already lit to another person. Each firework should be lit one at a time and safely pointed away from flammable materials or substances, including vegetation, homes, people or cars. Never hold fireworks that are not meant to be held.
3. Do not consume alcohol or drugs when using fireworks. Judgement should never be impaired when using such potentially dangerous items and someone should always be sober and prepared to drive in the case of emergency.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby. When cleaning up fireworks, dunk them in water before picking them up to ensure they are no longer hot or potentially still explosive.
5. Never try to relight a “dud”. If a firework does not go off after being lit leave it alone for 20 minutes before soaking it in water. Duds can fire off late.
6. Do not shoot fireworks when your area is in a drought or dry period.
7. Wear eye protection and never put your body directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse.
8. Walk away quickly as soon as you light the fuse. Fireworks can misfire or shoot in the wrong direction. You should stand at least 75 feet away to enjoy the fireworks.
9. Only use fireworks on a flat, inflammable surface with plenty of open space. Fireworks can easily tip over and shoot in the wrong direction if they are not stable.
10. Never buy illegal fireworks or attempt to make your own. Legal fireworks will have manufacturing labels and state they are approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In the event that a serious injury occurs while shooting fireworks, you should seek medical attention immediately. Gauge the intensity of the injury by checking to see if they are first, second or third-degree burns to know if the injury can be treated at home safely. A great resource for learning more about burn injuries is WebMD’s Pain Caused by Burns.
Share these tips with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help spread fireworks safety awareness and help decrease the amount of hospital visits this Fourth of July!
#FourthOfJuly #SMARTSafety #FireworksSafety #HolidaySafety #IndependenceDay