Boom, Sizzle, Celebrate: Family Fireworks Safety Tips

06/18/2021
Allison Walsh

 

Many of us missed celebrating last year's Independence Day the way we may have wanted to, due to social distancing rules.  If you're going all out this year to make up for lost time, be sure to brush up on your fireworks safety so everyone has a fun, safe time!

Statistics


Here are some need-to-know statistics that drive home the importance of fireworks safety:

  • In 2020, there were an estimated 900 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets. There were an estimated 800 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers.1
  • On average, 180 people go to an emergency room every day with firework-related injuries in the month around the July 4th Holiday.1
  • Fireworks cause around 18,500 fires each year2

Before you burn fireworks, 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 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 firework 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.
 

Accident insurance


As diligent as we may be, accidents still happen. According to USC News, of the patients studied, 80% needed to have a hand or finger amputated, 50% had eye injuries and 50% suffered ruptured eardrums.Accident insurance is designed to pay you whether you are on or off the job, 365 days per year, if a covered event occurs. To find out more, contact one of our agents today!

 

References:

2- Leave fireworks to the experts. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2021, from https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/seasonal-safety/summer-safety/fireworks

3- Davis, L. (2020, July 02). More people are using fireworks in 2020, and it's causing major injuries. Retrieved June 15, 2021, from https://news.usc.edu/172644/illegal-fireworks-injuries-2020-trauma-center-burn-unit-lac-usc/

1- Fireworks. (2021, March 23). Retrieved June 15, 2021, from https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

Other Sources:

"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.link opens in a new window

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/.