Summer is in full swing with Independence Day right around the corner, prime for celebrating. This is time spent outdoors, enjoying the weather and warm company of family and friends. One of the big parts of summer, especially this week, are enjoying fireworks. Every July 4th people fill the outdoors with eyes gazed into the summer night to take in a firework show. However, what’s often overlooked is firework safety, so today we will discuss some risks, as well as how to use fireworks safely.
July is Fireworks Safety Month so it’s important we share information so you’ll the knowledge to make informed decisions before buying and/or using fireworks. Per the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people (mainly children and teens), suffer injuries while using fireworks.
Just in 2015, U.S. emergency rooms treated nearly 12,000 people for firework related injuries, with children younger than 15 accounting for more than a quarter of them (26%). Additionally, here are some more firework injury numbers:
- Body parts injured by fireworks by percentage
- Head, Face, or Ear – 19%
- Eye – 19%
- Arm – 5%
- Hand or Finger – 36%
- Leg – 10%
- Trunk or Other – 11%
- Males account for 74% of fireworks-related injuries.
- About one in four fires started by fireworks occur on Independence Day
However, fireworks are not all bad, and offer great entertainment when used responsibly. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offered a few safety tips that we’ll discuss below:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give to children
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before use
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings/vehicles
- Never re-light a dud firework
- Always have a bucket of water and a charged hose ready
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and throw in a metal trash can
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks
- Report any illegal explosives to police or fire department
It’s also noteworthy to keep your pets away from any fireworks to protect them from the sound and/or in case they run off during a firework display.
Sometimes it’s best to leave the fireworks to the experts, simply due to the many types that are potentially harmful. However, if you choose to engage in this activity, remember to do so responsibly. This is meant to be an enjoyable, safe activity so be sure to proceed with caution. Although our R-Health doctors are available when you need them, they would much rather you stay safe and healthy this 4th of July.