Fireworks Safety Tips: Ensuring and Safe and Injury-Free Fourth of July
An average of 230 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding July 4th
Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day each year. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also be extremely dangerous. If not used properly, they can lead to severe and even fatal injuries.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. More than 50 percent of those injuries are burns.
CPSC reports that between 2001 and 2016 there were an average of seven people killed each year in the U.S. due to fireworks-related accidents.
In 2016 alone, fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Of those injuries, CPSC says that it received reports of four deaths. Three of the four fatalities in were related to reloadable aerial devices, while the fourth was associated with manufacturing homemade devices. All four victims died from direct impacts with fireworks.
Fireworks Safety Tips
If you plan on including fireworks in your July 4th celebration, be sure to keep the following things in mind:
- 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—hot enough to melt some metals.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 about fireworks safety, visit CPSC.gov.