On average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the weeks before and after the July 4th holiday. (1)
Fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 30 percent); legs (an estimated 23 percent); eyes (an estimated 15 percent); head, face, and ears (an estimated 15 percent); and arms (an estimated 10 percent). (2)
You can help prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by following a few common-sense guidelines. Here are some safety tips to follow 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 a sober adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Young kids can suffer injuries even from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of almost 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals.
- 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.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, pour plenty of water on them before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
And always remember to have fun, safely.
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