For many, fireworks are a quintessential part of celebrating the 4th of July and American independence. But the fun of fireworks can come at a steep price with an average of 4 deaths and 9,124 injuries occurring each year. While accidents have happened at large scale events, the majority actually happen at home. If you plan to use fireworks this holiday weekend, make sure you know the dangers and follow these safety tips.
Many firework injuries are caused by misuse of the product. Common mistakes include:
- lighting fireworks improperly
- lighting them too close to other people
- lighting them in your hand
Fireworks can still be dangerous, however, even when handled properly. Products with design defects or insufficient warning labels can be incredibly dangerous and cause injury when used. Here are some examples of possible hazards:
- Poorly built fireworks can explode prematurely, before the person who lights it is able to evacuate to a safe distance.
- A defective fuse may ignite the powder in a firework in the wrong way, causing the firework to explode incorrectly.
- Fireworks that shoot up into the air like bottle rockets can take dangerous flight paths aimed at people, vehicles and buildings.
Injuries sustained from faulty or misused fireworks can include loss of eyesight, severe lacerations, and burns.
You can greatly decrease the chance of injury if you follow these 5 safety tips when using fireworks:
- Read the Directions. Make sure you read any and all directions listed on the packaging and then follow them. Stay away from experimentation involving modified or homemade fireworks.
- Supervise Children. Kids should always have adult supervision when handling or being near fireworks. This includes sparklers which can cause damage if used improperly or carelessly.
- Stay Outdoors. It hardly bears saying, but always display fireworks outdoors, away from dwellings and fire hazards like tall grass and dry leaves.
- No Recycling. Do not attempt to reuse fireworks that have already detonated or try to reignite ones that have malfunctioned.
- Have Water Nearby. Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby that you can use in an emergency as well as at the conclusion of the display for added safety. Soaking used and misfired fireworks after you have finished with them will prevent fires from occurring after they have been discarded.
From all of us here at Handy & Handy, we hope that you have a fun and safe Fourth of July.