The 4th of July is almost here. It’s a time for celebration, family, cookouts and, of course, fireworks. As fun as fireworks are, they can also be dangerous. Every Independence Day emergency rooms are full of people hurt by fireworks and fire departments are at the ready to put out fires caused by fireworks.
This year, diligently follow firework safety practices to keep the 4th fun and safe.
AT-HOME FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS
When it comes to fireworks safety, you need to be thinking about how fireworks can cause danger both directly (burns from misfiring) and indirectly (setting fires to your property).
Friends don’t let friends light fireworks if they’ve had too much to drink. Have a designated firework lighter at your party and make sure they wear safety goggles. Eye and face injuries are common firework injuries.
KNOW WHAT FIREWORKS YOU ARE USING
Legal fireworks are dangerous enough; don’t use illegal, under-labeled fireworks. Always follow the directions on the packaging and do not use fireworks that are missing a warning label. Those are giveaways that you are not using legal, safety-regulated fireworks.
HAVE WATER READY
When lighting fireworks have a bucket of water and a hose nearby; you need these for many reasons:
- Hose down stray flames or sparks.
- Hose down duds (ones that do not ignite), wait for 20 minutes to ensure it doesn’t have a delayed start and then soak them in a bucket of water for another 20 minutes.
- Soak all used fireworks before throwing them away. Trashcan fires are common on the 4th.
- Hose down the area you used to set off fireworks. Grass fires are another common occurrence on the 4th.
FIREWORKS AND TREES
According to the National Fire Protection Association "on Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires." When planning your firework safety zone, look up. Remember that your safety zone is not just on the ground, but at your tree line, too. Make sure you have just as much safe space in the air as you do on the ground.
KNOW WHAT TO DO IF THERE IS AN INJURY
Accidents happen. The Mayo Clinic website offers a wealth of information about basic first aid, but if you have any doubts, go to the emergency room or call 911.
Take our advice, use these safety tips and have a wonderful, fun 4th of July with your family and friends this year!