Fireworks Safety: Don't Just Have a Blast this Fourth of July

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Fireworks are a part of many celebrations: United States Independence Day, Chinese New Year, and in conjunction with various festivals or fairs in the state of Wisconsin. But, as Safe Kids USA says, "Fireworks are not kids play."

  • 8,500 people are injured in the United States each year. Three-thousand are children less than 15 years of age who are seen in emergency departments.
  • Fireworks can cause wildfires, particularly in areas of drought or around dry vegetation.
  • Sparklers, firecrackers, Roman candles, fountains and bottle rocket injuries are common causes of burn injuries to the fingers, hands and eyes.
  • The most severe injuries are caused by rockets, cherry bombs and M-80s.

Be safe this Fourth of July by following these recommendations:

  • Never allow young children to use or ignite fireworks.
  • Do not let children light or handle sparklers.
  • Closely supervise children at fireworks events and around fireworks. 
  • Teach children that they should not pick up discarded sparklers or fireworks of any kind.

Here are a few more tips from Safe Kids USA, for people who will be using fireworks during their celebrations:

  • Never light fireworks indoors, in drought areas or near dry grass. 
  • Have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. 
  • Wear safety goggles.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. 
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. 
  • If a devise does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. 

And these, from the US Consumer Products Safety Commission:

  • Never ignite fireworks in a container. It can explode.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket.
  • After fireworks have burnt out, pour water over the fireworks from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Store fireworks in a cool dry place according to their storage instructions.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. 

Have a safe Fourth of July!