Many of us look forward to the Fourth of July holiday. It is a great day to enjoy time outdoors, watch fireworks, and make lasting memories with friends and family. However, with firework fun comes firework-related injuries.
According to the National Fire Protection Association*, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, causing an average of $43 million worth of property damage each year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission**, an estimated 12,900 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. in 2017 alone.
If you do plan to use fireworks, remember these fireworks handling tips and best practices.
● In many places, it is illegal to light fireworks. Make sure it is legal in your area before using them.
● Never let young children hold sparklers or play with fireworks.
● Never let children attend fireworks activities without proper adult supervision.
● Only purchase legal fireworks labeled with manufacturer’s name and instructions.
● Never make your own fireworks.
● Always use fireworks outdoors.
● Always wear eye protection when handling fireworks.
● Do not point fireworks toward people, homes, bushes, or anything flammable.
● Have a source of water nearby in case of fire.
● Only light one firework at a time.
● After lighting fireworks, move back to a safe distance immediately.
● Never re-light a firework that did not go off. Do not get stand over it closely to investigate. Instead, give it some time, soak in water, and dispose of.
● Don’t let children pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as some may still be ignited.
● Soak fireworks in water before disposing of them.
● Keep your pets safe.
● If an injury happens, seek medical care right away.
Annually, the highest number of fires are reported on July 4th. The best way to keep your family safe is simply to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and events. Why don’t we grab a blanket, sit back, and let the professionals handle the show this year?