With the 4th of July approaching, it is important to keep safety in mind when handling fireworks. Fireworks are not only dangerous for children, but also for adults. Some quick statistics to keep in mind during your holiday are below.
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.
In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 61% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head.
In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. Learn more here.
If you still plan to use fireworks, keep these tips in mind and use them safely!
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Never consume alcohol before or during the handling of fireworks.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.