With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. Fireworks safety begins with common sense and some planning before the actual celebration.
If not handled properly, fireworks can cause injuries and burns to kids and adults. The National Council on Fireworks Safety reported a decrease in fireworks injuries last year. That’s a great statistic, but even just one injury reported is too many. Through education you can protect your family from the risks of injury during this fun celebratory time.
By far, the best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. There are many choices of public displays in the Treasure Valley, consider attending one and leave the lighting to the professionals.
If you choose to light fireworks at home here are several recommendations to help protect you and your family.
- Kids should never play with fireworks. They are just too dangerous and kids are unpredictable. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Be sure to stay close to a kid with a sparkler. Ensure they do not walk about or run with a lit sparkler in their hand. Sparklers can reach 1,800° Fahrenheit (982° Celsius) — hot enough to melt gold.
- Buy only legal fireworks from a local vendor who has a permit to sell fireworks in your area. Never try to make your own fireworks or alter those that you purchase.
- Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at another person.
- Grass and structural fires are a common problem with fireworks. Always use fireworks outside on asphalt or concrete, away from homes keeping them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of an emergency. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year. Don’t take the chance with property around your area.
- Don't hold lit fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.
- Assign an adult to light one firework at a time and never relight a dud.
- Once done, don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time. Soaking all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash will help reduce your risk of them reigniting.
If you or your child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. Many injuries are more severe than most people initially think; especially when it concerns eye injuries or burns
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 consider taking in one of the local shows. However you and your family choose to celebrate this 4th of July, have a safe and happy Independence Day! Happy Birthday, America!