When you think of celebrating the 4th of July, most people consider fireworks an essential part of the festivities. They’re as American as backyard BBQs and baseball! And with bright sparks lighting up the night sky, what’s not to love? But if you’re planning to shoot some yourself, it’s important to remember that they can also be dangerous.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Annual Report, an estimated 11,900 people went to the emergency room for fireworks related injuries in 2015. Fireworks also start an average of 18,500 fires every year – resulting in an average or $43 million in property damage! So when you’re planning your get together or neighborhood fireworks celebration, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Rule #1: Obey all local laws concerning the use of fireworks.
- Read the instructions. Following the recommended procedures lessens your risk of injury, and experts say that most injuries from fireworks are caused by carelessness.
- Have a ‘designated shooter.’ Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
- Keep fireworks away from your face! This means never bending over a firework that’s lit or trying to relight a “dud.”
- Shoot fireworks in an open space, away from trees, buildings or vehicles.
- Light one firework at a time, and don’t shoot them out of a glass or metal container.
- Keep a bucket of water or water hose nearby.
- Kids should never play with or light fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous for little hands – they can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Consider handing out glow sticks for the kids instead.
- Keep your pets away from the festivities – they have very sensitive ears and can be frightened or run away from the loud noise.
- Before you put the debris in your trash can, dunk it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Wear safety glasses and have everyone keep a safe distance.
Now go have fun!
Here are a few other fireworks safety resources: National Council on Fireworks Safety | National Safety Council