Independence Day is an exciting time to celebrate not only our country's freedom, but also to celebrate with family and friends. Fourth of July celebrations often involve fireworks, which can cause injuries.
According to the Census Bureau, Americans spent $247.1 million on fireworks in 2014, and that number continues to rise.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks caused 10,500 injuries and nearly a dozen deaths during the July 4th holiday in 2014, and over 3,000 children visit the hospital each year because of firework-related injuries. Although the popular simple sparkler may seem harmless, they can reach temperatures of up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so caution is required.
Protecting yourself, family, and friends from accidents with fireworks is important. As the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaches, here are some tips to help keep everyone safe this summer:
1. Leave It to the Professionals
Instead of hosting a fireworks display in your yard, consider attending an event in your local community. Not only do public firework displays help to remove your risk of injury, but the individuals who put on the display are usually well experienced.
2. Wear Proper Clothing
Avoid wearing loose or flammable clothing when around fireworks. In addition, make sure all those that will be around the fireworks are wearing closed-toe shoes and safety glasses.
3. Avoiding Relighting
Although it may be tempting to relight a firework that is a dud, this should be avoided. Dud fireworks are dangerous because of their unpredictability. For the safety of all, it is best to stay clear of the area and wait about 20 minutes to see if it will explode. If it does not, place the firework in water. Always keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher on hand.
4. Follow Directions
It may sound simple, but following the instructions listed on the fireworks is essential. Each firework is different and the proper protocol should be taken to help prevent injury.
5. Fire Away
Be conscious of your surroundings. Make sure fireworks are shot away from people, buildings, trees and other flammable substances.
Make your Fourth of July memorable, but for all the right reasons. Take the proper precautions beforehand to ensure everyone has a safe holiday. For even more safety tips regarding fireworks, visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website here.