According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these 50% were children under the age of 20. The majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives. An estimated 1200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.
Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association states that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires every year, including 1300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.
The safest way to celebrate the 4th of July is by attending a public professional firework display. However, if you choose to celebrate with commercially purchased legal fireworks, South Beach Regional Fire Authority offers a few tips to be as safe as possible.
If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks, the National Safety Council suggests:
If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hand
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks
USCPS fireworks safety 2018- 2 mins
The Dangers of Sparklers
For Children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries. Cpsc.gov
Remember to Celebrate Responsibly
Always,set family boundaries and communicate with your children about celebrating safely. If you choose to discharge fireworks, make certain they are legal. Weather conditions can make grasses and vegetation dry and vulnerable to fire.
- Store fireworks, matches and lighters out of children’s reach
- Keep pets safe indoors