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Fireworks Safety Tips

Jun 21, 2017

As the weather heats up and families migrate outdoors, winter toys are traded in for sunscreen and sand pails. The summer months promise warm days and one of the most anticipated nights: the Fourth of July.

While fireworks are beautiful to watch, they are dangerous to play with. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause severe injuries to eyes and skin. Even just watching a friend light fireworks can put you at risk.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 firework-related injuries happened in 2014. Of these, 67 percent occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4.

In addition, children ages 5 to 9 years old experienced a higher injury rate than other age groups. It is incredibly important to make sure that children do not handle fireworks.

Even fireworks sold at a grocery store, such as sparklers or other small novelties, are just as dangerous. Bottle rockets and sparklers, which can burn at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, accounted for nearly 40 percent of all estimated injuries in 2013.

While the best way to prevent these types of injuries is to leave the show to the experts, if you or a friend chooses to handle fireworks, the National Council on Firework Safety offers these tips:

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Always have water handy.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
  • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance and wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
  • Do not use homemade fireworks. Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

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