Fireworks are synonymous with most people’s Fourth of July celebrations. But every year, the holiday also comes with thousands of visits to the emergency room due to accidents, unsafe practices and illegal firecracker use.
According to the United States Product Safety Commission, fireworks injure close to 11,500 Americans annually. Nearly half of these injuries occur to the hands and fingers. Injuries to the head, face, ears, and eyes account for about a third of all fireworks-related accidents. In addition, 40% of structure fires on July 4th happen because of fireworks.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a professional show. If you do hold your own fireworks display, remember the following:
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Obey local laws. Fireworks may be illegal in your area.
- Consider your pets. If they are afraid of fireworks make sure they are in a secure setting and can’t run away.
- Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface a good distance away from people and structures.
- Never tamper with or try to customize fireworks.
- Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
- Keep fireworks away from children. Remember, even sparklers – which can heat up to 12,000 degrees – aren’t safe for young children. (Consider allowing them to use glow sticks instead.)
- Do not point fireworks at people, pets, vehicles or structures.
- Have a water bucket or hose nearby, just in case.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a firework that has malfunctioned.
- Dispose of all firework materials by soaking them in water before putting them in the trash.
Contact TSS for additional Fourth of July safety recommendations and have a happy and safe holiday weekend!