Whether you’re carrying a small bright sparkler or watching beautifully colored lights in the sky, fireworks have always inspired a sense of camaraderie within the hearts of Americans across the nation. However, not all Independence Day celebrations go exactly as planned. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2011 there were 200 people every day visiting the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries around July 4th festivities.
“For thousands of consumers, last year’s Fourth of July celebration ended with a visit to the emergency room,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC wants you to understand the risks with legal and illegal fireworks, in order to prevent an injury, or worse, during this holiday.”
Exhibiting good judgment is always a smart way to stay safe on celebrations such as Independence Day; however, accidents do occur and it is always best to be prepared for the unexpected. The following are tips provided by the CPSC to help ensure that your family’s Fourth of July celebration is safe:
• Never agree to let children to play with or ignite fireworks on their own.
• Never attempt to re-light or pick up fireworks that appear not to have ignited correctly.
• Always keep a bucket of water or garden house nearby in case of a fire.
• Never attempt to shoot fireworks at someone or out of another container.
• Use online guides to check your fireworks and make sure they are legal in your area.
• Ignite fireworks one at a time and once done, then move to a safe distance fast.
• After you are finished with the fireworks, douse them with plenty of water before trashing to prevent a trash fire.
The most common type of injury from fireworks is burns, making up more than half of reported wounds. Among some of the most common areas for burns and other injuries are hands, fingers, heads, faces, ears, and eyes.
Photo by John Sullivan, courtesy PDphoto.org