06/04/2020 Boom, Sizzle, Celebrate: Family Fireworks Safety Tips

Allison Walsh

Boom, Sizzle, Celebrate: Family Fireworks Safety Tips

Social distancing may mean more people than ever before will be conducting their own fireworks shows this Independence Day.  Keep everyone safe and happy by making sure safety comes first.

Statistics

Here are some need-to-know statistics that drive home the importance of fireworks safety:

  • In 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 12 fireworks related deaths (non-occupational and up from 5 in 2018) and about 10,000 people were injured badly enough to require a trip to the E.R., up 1000 from 2018. Most of those injuries occurred between June, 2019 and July, 2019.
  • In 2019, 30% of the fireworks injuries were to hands or fingers.  Close to one in four (23%) were leg injuries and one in five injuries (15%) were to the eye.1
  • Fireworks cause around 18,500 fires each year!2

Before you burn fireworks, find out what’s legal in your state.

It’s your duty to obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Refer to the American Pyrotechnics Association’s state to find out if fireworks are legal to buy and use where you live. Keep in mind that cherry bombs, quarter sticks, and anything that starts with an M (e.g. M-80, M-100, and M-250) are illegal because they’re produced with no quality control and have shorter fuses, meaning they can be particularly harmful if mismanaged.Don’t make assumptions

There’s too much to lose if you or a loved one picks up a firework and tries to set it off before knowing exactly how to handle it safely. Even fireworks that seem kid-friendly—like sparklers, which burn at almost 2,000 degrees—can cause serious damage. Start by reading the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

Put a responsible adult in charge

Young children should never handle fireworks—they should stay a safe distance away. If older children are present, they should stay under close adult supervision.

Handle fireworks with care and caution

Here are some helpful guidelines:

Wear protective eyewear if you’re using fireworks or standing nearby

Never carry fireworks in a pocket, because friction from movement can cause them to ignite

Use them only outdoors and away from people, houses and flammable material.

Light only one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting

Never ignite fireworks in any type of container

Do not try to re-light a firework or handle a malfunctioning device

Keep a charged hose and bucket of water nearby to soak duds with or to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off

Dispose of used fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day

Before disposing of unused fireworks, soak them in water for a few hours

Be prepared for emergencies.

Just like the hose and bucket of water are handy for the disposal of fireworks, a fist aid kit is your first line of defense in case of an accident. If an injury is serious or isn’t managed with self-care, immediately seek professional medical attention.

Protect your pets

Leave your pets at home if you’re going to a fireworks display. The sound of fireworks can scare your pets, so put them in an interior room if fireworks are going to be lit nearby. If there’s a chance they can run off, make sure your pet has an identification tag.

Trust your display to the professionals

The safest bet is to attend a fireworks show that’s put on by professionals—leave the fireworks handling to people with the experience, supplies, and resources to maximize safety measures while dazzling the crowd.

Accident insurance

As diligent as we may be, accidents still happen. According to the National Safety Council, around 1 in 7 Americans sought medical attention for non-fatal preventable injuries in 2018.3  Accident insurance is designed to pay you whether you are on or off the job, 365 days per year, if a covered event occurs. To find out more, contact one of our agents today!

 

References:

1 Marier, A., Tu, Y., & Lee, S. (n.d.). 2019 Fireworks Annual Report (p. 2, Rep.). Bethesda, MD: United States CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION.

2 Safety at Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/fireworks

3-Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/all-injuries/overview/link opens in a new window

Other Sources:

"Best to Leave Fireworks to the Experts." National Safety Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2017.http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-fireworks-safety.aspx.link opens in a new window

Staff. "National Fireworks Safety Month." ConsumerSafety.org. N.p., 07 June 2016. Web. 29 June 2017.https://www.consumersafety.org/news/products/national-fireworks-safety-month/.

 

 

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