July is Fireworks Safety Month. The warm summer weather, smell of food on the grill, and family gatherings make shooting fireworks very appealing. Independence Day and fireworks are synonymous with each other so it is no coincidence that July is Fireworks Safety Month.
Fireworks cause over ten thousand injuries every year. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries. Most of the injuries take place during the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Almost half of the injuries happen to children under the age of fifteen. Nearly fifty percent of the injuries occur to hands and fingers. Almost forty percent of the injuries are to the eyes or face. Over 20 people per year even die due to a fireworks related incident. Let’s all be smart during this year’s Fireworks Safety Month.
General Safety Tips for Fireworks Safety Month
The best way to protect yourself and your family during Fireworks Safety Month (and year round) is not to use any fireworks at home. There are public firework displays during Fireworks Safety Month that are run by professionals. These will be much safer and eliminate the potential for injury. If you choose to light fireworks at home, below are a few tips that will help keep you safe.
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. If there is a burn ban in your area, do not light fireworks. Doing so could result in an uncontrollable fire.
- Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. Follow all rules and recommendations listed.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children. Parents often do not realize that young children can suffer serious injuries from simple sparklers. Sparklers burn at over 1200 degrees which is hot enough to burn glass and some metals.
- Never point or throw a firework at someone else.
- Do not drink alcohol prior to or while shooting off fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks to protect your eyes.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Never hold on to a firework that has been lit.
- Use fireworks outside in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Only purchase fireworks that have been properly manufactured. Even these can have issues.
- Do not attempt to carry fireworks on an airline. FAA regulations prohibit fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage. You will get in lots of trouble.
Injuries from Fireworks
Unfortunately, there will be injuries during Fireworks Safety Month if people do not adhere to the rules. Part of Fireworks Safety Month is also about knowing what to do if an injury occurs. If anyone is injured by fireworks, immediately seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital—even if the injury seems minor. If an eye is injured, do not touch, rub it, or flush with water as this may cause even more damage. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention.Your eyesight may depend on it. If someone gets burned by a firework, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, (not cold) water over the burn. Do not use ice. Call your doctor immediately.
Cleanup after the Fireworks
Fireworks can be lots of fun, but like most things in life you have to clean up afterwards. Some maid services may provide outdoor cleaning options. If you hire a maid service to perform the cleanup, ensure they are versed in firework safety. Whether or not you use a maid service, keep the following in mind while you are cleaning up after the fireworks:
- Do not pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and could explode.
- Spray the remnants with water from a hose before picking them up.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down or soaking them in a bucket of water before placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fireworks Safety Month and it will be a blast!
Related Post: July Fourth: All About Independence.