One of the most memorable parts of Independence Day every year is a fireworks show. It’s fun to gather family and friends and head to a park or other gathering space for a large professional display, but you might also choose to stay home this year and put on your own backyard fireworks show. However, it is important to handle fireworks safely. An average of 180 people end up in the emergency room every year around the July 4th holiday, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you plan to go the DIY route, keep these tips in mind for maximum safety around fireworks.
- Stay away from fireworks packaged in brown paper. These are meant to be handled by trained professionals for large displays.
- Pay close attention to your surroundings when handling fireworks. There is no time to relax or look away, especially if anyone around is vulnerable to injury.
- Children should not handle fireworks of any kind, including sparklers. While they may make for a fun picture, they have the potential to cause a third-degree burn if mishandled. Instead, give them silly string or confetti poppers to enjoy.
- Keep any furry family members locked inside the home. Most animals are extremely anxious around loud noises and fireworks are no exception. The loud pops and burning smells could prompt them to run away.
- Never light fireworks in your hands. Be sure they are well-secured on the ground and away from others.
- Clear a large area around where the fireworks will be lit. Stay away from cars and other buildings to avoid the risk of causing a fire.
- Do not relight fireworks that are duds. The fuse may just be slow and it could go off with a delay.
- Keep buckets of water or a hose closeby in case of emergency.
- Dispose of used fireworks properly. Carefully douse them all in water to avoid a garbage fire.
If an injury happens for any reason, visit a doctor or hospital immediately. Remember to practice caution when using fireworks and have fun celebrating our nation’s freedom.