The most celebrated holiday of the summer is the Fourth of July. Celebrating with fireworks is synonymous with the Fourth of July. Although fireworks can be exciting to watch, they can also cause injury to those igniting the device and bystanders.
Every Fourth of July, thousands of people sustain fireworks-related injuries. Despite fireworks being dangerous, few people understand the associated risks of sustaining burns or other injuries. According to Prevent Blindness America, nearly 13,000 fireworks-related injuries are seen in hospitals each year.
Aside from personal injuries, far more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day. Fireworks account for two out of five fires, more than any other cause of fire.
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and they pose a danger to consumers.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents may not realize that young children often suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.