06/30/2017 Boom, Sizzle, Celebrate: Family Fireworks Safety Tips
Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist
Boom, Sizzle, Celebrate: Family Fireworks Safety Tips
Know these fireworks safety stats
Here are some need-to-know statistics that drive home the importance of fireworks safety:
- In 2015, 11 people died and about 11,500 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents1
- In 2014, more than one-third (36%) of the fireworks injuries in 2014 were to hands or fingers. One in five (19%) were eye injuries. An additional 19% were to other parts of the head. 2
- In 2013, fireworks caused about 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires and 14,000 other fires.2
Before you burn, find out what’s legal in your state.
It’s your duty to obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Refer to the American Pyrotechnics Association’s state directory to find out if fireworks are legal to buy and use where you live. Keep in mind that cherry bombs, quarter sticks, and anything that starts with an M (e.g. M-80, M-100, and M-250) are illegal because they’re produced with no quality control and have shorter fuses, meaning they can be particularly harmful if mismanaged.
Don’t make assumptions.
There’s too much to lose if you or a loved one picks up a firework and tries to set it off before knowing exactly how to handle it safely. Even fireworks that seem kid-friendly—like sparklers, which burn at almost 2,000 degrees—can cause serious damage. Start by reading the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
Put a responsible adult in charge.
Young children should never handle fireworks—they should stay a safe distance away. If older children are present, they should stay under close adult supervision.
Handle fireworks with care and caution.
Here are some helpful guidelines:
- Wear protective eyewear if you’re using fireworks or standing nearby
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket, because friction from movement can cause them to ignite
- Use them only outdoors and away from people, houses and flammable material.
- Light only one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite fireworks in any type of container
- Do not try to re-light a firework or handle a malfunctioning device
- Keep a charged hose and bucket of water nearby to soak duds with or to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off
- Dispose of used fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day
- Before disposing of unused fireworks, soak them in water for a few hours
Be prepared for emergencies.
Just like the hose and bucket of water are handy for the disposal of fireworks, a fist aid kit is your first line of defense in case of an accident. If an injury is serious or isn’t managed with self-care, immediately seek professional medical attention.
Protect your pets.
Leave your pets at home if you’re going to a fireworks display. The sound of fireworks can scare your pets, so put them in an interior room if fireworks are going to be lit nearby. If there’s a chance they can run off, make sure your pet has an identification tag.
Trust your display to the professionals.
The safest bet is to attend a fireworks show that’s put on by professionals—leave the fireworks handling to people with the experience, supplies, and resources to maximize safety measures while dazzling the crowd.
1 Tu, Youngling. "2015 Fireworks Annual Report." US Consumer Product Safety Commission. N.p., 1 June 2016. Web. 25 June 2017. https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Fireworks_Report_2015FINALCLEARED_0.pdf?2M9KQg40aQyjI_0M.o0KLZOZFGEvGnA7.
2 "Fireworks." NFPA report - Fireworks. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2017. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/fireworks.
"Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts." National Safety Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2017.http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-fireworks-safety.aspx.
Staff. "National Fireworks Safety Month." ConsumerSafety.org. N.p., 07 June 2016. Web. 29 June 2017.https://www.consumersafety.org/news/products/national-fireworks-safety-month/.
"Safety Tips." The National Council on Fireworks Safety. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2017. http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/.
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