Every year during the summer months, especially around the Fourth of July, people all over the country celebrate by using fireworks. Fireworks have been with Americans since our nation’s beginning. Early U.S. settlers brought their love of fireworks with them to the New World and fireworks were part of the very first Independence Day – a tradition that continues to this day.
While July 4th is still the “big day”, Americans continue to use fireworks year-round to celebrate at festivals, special events, and sporting traditions such as the Olympics and Super Bowl.
However, it is important to remember that while fireworks are fun, they come with some serious and potentially harmful consequences.
- More than 19,500 property fires are started by fireworks each year
- Every year around 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries.
- Children under the age of 15 have the highest rate of firework injuries with 50% of the injuries occurring to the hands, fingers or legs.
- Sparklers account for roughly 25% of emergency room fireworks injuries.
Tips for having a Safe Fireworks Display
1. Skip the Sparklers
They seem a lot safer than aerial fireworks but they are actually quite dangerous especially for kids.
Yes, they look cool but they are also extremely hot.
Sparklers burn at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
These things could be used in a heist movie to melt metal and it would be scientifically accurate.
You don’t want your children (or yourself, even) holding them.
2. Use only in a Clear open Area
Make sure the area where fireworks are used is clear of dry, potentially flammable grass, wood, or debris. It is also a good idea to monitor your state’s wildfire warnings and make sure there isn’t a fire weather watch in effect.
3. Light fireworks on a flat surface
Using a flat surface is extremely important when using fireworks. If the area where you are using fireworks is too uneven, there is the potential they could tip over and go off horizontally and severely injure someone. Flat surfaces are also important when using fireworks that take off vertically, like bottle rockets. If the area is too uneven, they could have an angled trajectory which could result in an injury to a person, property damage, or fires.
4. Only Adults should use fireworks
The vast majority of firework-related injuries happen to children under the age of 15. Understanding the risks fireworks pose to children and the importance of having adults present to handle fireworks can greatly decrease injuries and deaths.
So, in these coming weeks when you and your family and friends are settling in for your epic do-it-yourself fireworks display, remember these safety tips and have a happy and safe Fourth of July!