For many Americans, the Fourth of July holiday brings parades, cookouts, and of course, fireworks. While the colorful displays are enjoyed across the country, fireworks can be dangerous and require a special attention to safety. Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day, yet the thrill of fireworks can also bring harm. 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks related injuries in the month of July and almost half of reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.
Here are some safety tips to use before engaging in fireworks celebrations this Fourth of July:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show, and always drink responsibly.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
- After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
- When using fireworks, always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
- With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.
Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fourth of July and your holiday will be a blast!
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Written by: Steven Gately, PharmD Candidate 2018