Posted In Health Tips on June 28, 2023
Fireworks present a serious risk of personal injury as well as property damage. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2021, at least nine people died, and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks, with an estimated 74% of these injuries occurring from mid-June to mid-July. Injuries can result from smoke inhalation or being hit by a firework or falling shrapnel and can result in burns, vision loss, hearing loss, or loss of fingers and toes.
While the majority of reported injuries were due to amateurs using professional-grade or illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices such as firecrackers or sparklers. Sparklers burn hot enough to melt some metals, and can quickly ignite clothing, and cause severe burns. Additionally, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.
Know the risks associated with both using fireworks and being around someone else using fireworks. Minimize your risk by following these safety tips:
- Never let children light fireworks or use sparklers unattended.
- Use fireworks in a clear area outdoors, away from dry leaves, people, pets, buildings, vehicles, overhead obstructions, or anything combustible.
- Be aware of windy or drought conditions that could alter firework trajectories or start fires.
- Have a bucket of water or hose around in case of an unexpected fire or firework “duds”.
- Never throw or point fireworks at anyone or ignite fireworks in a container.
- Stabilize fireworks on the ground before lighting, preferably on a fire-safe surface such as a cement pad or a driveway. Never light a firework in your hand.
- Only light one firework at a time, and then move back quickly to a safe location.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket. Never place any part of your body over a firework while lighting its fuse.
- Don’t pick up or try to re-light a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak them in water.
- Douse all spent fireworks with water and then place in a covered metal trash can away from buildings or combustibles until the next day.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Only purchase and use fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.