Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. On average, 200 people go the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries each day in the weeks around the July 4th holiday.
The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. But if you are, follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite 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 that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals (Read more about Sparklers here).
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- 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.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
For more information, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website: www.cpsc.gov/fireworks