Fireworks Do's and Don'ts

Each year, in the month surrounding the 4th of July, nearly 300 people are seen in US emergency rooms each day for fireworks-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There were 10,000 injuries and 12 deaths in 2019 alone. This is despite ongoing consumer education about the dangers of fireworks.

As might be expected, males have a higher rate of injuries than girls, 70% to 30%, respectively, reveals the CPSC. Kids and young adults under the age of 20 account for roughly 50% of the injuries. That said, adults 20 to 44 years of age constitute 43% of fireworks-related injuries, indicating that even adults need more education on fireworks-safety.

The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, coordinated by the National Fire Protection Association, urges the public to play it safe. Forego the use of fireworks and instead enjoy fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals. Although this seems like sound advice, it isn't a recommendation everyone will abide by.

So keep in mind the following safety tips to ensure a safe, happy Fourth of July for all.

  • Abide by local laws regarding fireworks.

  • Have a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of fire or to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off.

  • Never try to re-light a firework that doesn't work. Wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • Never shoot fireworks out of glass or metal containers.

  • Don't use homemade fireworks.

  • Wear safety glasses when shooting them off.

  • Don't carry fireworks in your pocket.

  • Never aim fireworks toward another person or animal.

  • Light them one at a time and then move away quickly.

  • Let off fireworks only in clear areas and away from buildings and vehicles.

  • Keep fireworks stored in a cool place.

  • Keep pets and animals away from the sound of the fireworks.

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