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How to keep everyone safe this 4th of July

Fireworks

Photo Credit: Flickr/colink

How to keep everyone safe this 4th of July

By Carolyn Hauck on June 30, 2015

Ready for the 4th this year? Before you venture down to your local fireworks stand, consider these numbers from a Consumer Product Safety Commission survey on firework injuries taken in 2013:

240 people per day visit the emergency room for firework-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July.

8 firework-related deaths were reported that year.

65% of firework-related injuries occurred around the month of July. And the most injured body parts?

36% Hands and fingers

22% Head, face and ears

Can you guess which firework caused the most injuries? You might be surprised to find out that sparklers caused 31% of all the injuries. So if you think you’re playing it safe by just pulling out the sparklers this year, make sure you understand the dangers of fireworks. Here are a few tips taken from The National Council for Fireworks Safety list:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

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

  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.

  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.

  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also warns against illegal fireworks, which can usually be identified by their packaging. Illegal explosives are often unpackaged and wrapped in brown paper and usually don’t have any safety warnings on the packaging. Regulated fireworks are packaged in bright colors and have safety warning labels.

Fireworks can be fun as long as you’re safe. In case you need quick Expert help, keep doctorsvets, and even lawyers, on JustAnswer handy this 4th.