Celebrate the 4th with Safety in Mind

Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. In the U.S., 240 people, on average, go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the four weeks surrounding the July 4th holiday. The most commonly injured body parts are hands and fingers, head, face, ears and eyes. 

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community. 

The best suggestion, of course, is to attend a professional fireworks event in your community. If you do want to use fireworks yourself, Make sure they are legal in your area before buying or using them. Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children can suffer injuries even from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.

  • Light fireworks one at a time. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

  • 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.

  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

  • 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.