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National Fireworks Safety Month

Posted in Safety Tips on July 2, 2018

With Independence Day right around the corner, fireworks can be the source of enjoyment and danger.

Fires and Injuries

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, 4 people died while another 11,100 people were injured from firework related incidents. Although the majority of these injuries stemmed from amateurs trying to use illegal fireworks and explosives, thousands of injuries were caused by small firecrackers and sparklers.

Fireworks on the 4th of July cause about 2/5 of all reported fires throughout the country. On a yearly average, fireworks cause 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries.

Legal Fireworks (in some states)

Sparklers, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and roman candles are fairly common legal fireworks, although they are not legal in every state. Check your state’s laws before purchasing or setting off fireworks. Sparklers often seem to be safe enough for children to use on their own, however, most people don’t realize they burn at about 2,000 degrees–  hot enough to melt certain metals.

Teens tend to be drawn towards bottle rockets and sometime have bottle rocket wars.  This is extremely dangerous. Being hit with a bottle rocket can lead to chest, head, and eye injuries. Most children and teens treated with bottle rocket injuries are left with reduced vision, many legally blind.

Firecrackers and roman candles are also known for causing severe burns.

M-Class Fireworks

All M class fireworks are extremely dangerous. M-80s were originally created in the early 20th century by the U.S. military to simulate artillery fire. U.S. federal regulations were passed in 1975 limiting all consumer-grade fireworks to 50 milligrams maximum while M-Class fireworks have up to 3 grams of flash powder.

Firework Safety Tips

Follow these tips to help avoid disaster, injury, or even death:

  • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Supervise children and teenagers while handling fireworks and sparklers.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Only use fireworks in open areas away from people, houses, cars, and flammable material.
  • Only light one firework at a time to maintain control of the situation.
  • Keep a bucket of water and/or a hose nearby to extinguish fireworks that don’t fully ignite.

Firework safety is extremely important in order to reduce the number of injuries as a result of igniting fireworks. When using or watching fireworks, be sure to discuss the dangers with children so they use caution around them.

With the proper precautions and safety checks, fireworks lead to a fun and enjoyable July 4th.