The Fourth of July is this Friday. It will be a long weekend of picnics with friends and family, parades and fireworks demonstrations to celebrate our country’s 238th birthday. The holiday is always a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) put out a report stating that more fires were reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year! Fireworks accidents account for 2 out of 5 of these reported fires. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires causing over $32 million in damage. The same report shared that there were 9,600 fireworks related injuries treated in US emergency room. 57% of these injuries were from burns and 18% from lacerations. Surprisingly, sparklers, fountains, and other fireworks novelties accounted for 25% of the injuries! We all enjoy watching fireworks, but it is very important to leave the pyrotechnic displays to the professionals. The NFPA strongly recommends not to set-off fireworks. There are many states where doing so is illegal, including Delaware, Massacheutts, New Jersey and New York. However, if your state allows setting off fireworks, you must make sure to follow every precautions for your home and family’s safety.
12 Fireworks Safety Tips
1. Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks.
2. Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks, including sparklers. Keep the children a safe distance away from where you are shooting off the fireworks.
3. Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.
4. Only use fireworks outside. Do not use pyrotechnics inside a building.
5. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks from landing in trees and brush as they are extremely flammable.
6. Do not hold fireworks in your hand when lighting them. Fireworks could easily explode in your hand causing grave injuries. Also, wear safety glasses when you are lighting fireworks.
7. Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework. Make sure to properly dispose of the dud firework in water for 20 minutes before then depositing it in a metal container.
8. Do not light fireworks in glass containers. If they explode, the glass could become shrapnel and cause major injuries to those near the site.
9. Do not make your own fireworks. Handmade fireworks could be extremely dangerous.
10. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.
11. Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations.
12. If you are using sparklers, it is important to hold on tight to the sparklers when in use. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit. If children are playing with sparklers, teach them to not run when they are holding sparklers.
AKE Safety Equipment wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!