Practice Firework Safety

Date: June 24, 2021


            The arrival of warm weather provides more opportunities to gather and celebrate. From national holidays to impromptu backyard barbecues, the opportunity to kick back and relax is a hallmark of summer.

            Fireworks also figure prominently in summer. When in the hands of professionals, fireworks are a wonder to behold from a safe distance. But far too often people set off their own pyrotechnics and meet with grave results.

            In 2017, hospital emergency rooms in the United States treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks-related injuries. Of those injuries, 54 percent were to the extremities and 36 percent were head injuries. Children under the age of 15 accounted for more than one-third of those injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

            The risk for serious injury is significant anytime fireworks are handled. That is why individuals need to be especially careful when handling fireworks.

            Keep children away

            Never allow young children to ignite or play with fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous. Experts say sparklers burn at temperatures between 1800 F and 3000 F, which is hot enough to melt metal. Most people wouldn’t let children touch a stove set to 350 F, so they must exercise the same caution when using sparklers.

            Children may not realize that fireworks can remain hot even after the colors have disappeared. Some fireworks considered “duds” can unexpectedly reignite, even after being moved.

            Exercise caution

            Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire or to douse used fireworks before discarding them. When setting off fireworks never point or throw fireworks at another person. Individuals should keep a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

            When shopping for fireworks, buy them only from reputable sources and avoid fireworks packaged in plain brown wrapping, which is normally indicative of fireworks designed for professional displays and not home use.

            Additional safety measures

            The following are some additional measures when handling fireworks.

            *Never use fireworks when under the influence.

            *Never ignite devices inside of a container.

            *Maintain a safe distance from people, houses and flammable materials when using fireworks.

            *Make sure fireworks are legal in your area prior purchasing them.

            *Wear protective eyewear when using fireworks.

            *Strongly consider leaving displays to professionals.

            Firework safety is vital to preventing injuries and accidents.

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