Each year, the July 4 holiday brings us celebrations commemorating our country’s independence, with barbecues, visits to the beach, parades and fireworks. Unfortunately, for thousands of people the latter sometimes results in trips to the hospital emergency room for fireworks-related injuries.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 people were injured by fireworks in 2014 with the majority of the injuries occurring during the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. Here are eight ways you can make sure your family celebrates the holiday safely.
1. Be sure to follow all safety instructions and warnings provided by the fireworks manufacturers and be sure to only use fireworks that are commercially manufactured.
2. Limit the number of fireworks being lit at a time to one, and make sure you’re in an open area with plenty of space, keeping unused fireworks in a separate location.
3. Always have an adult supervise the use of fireworks and don’t let young children ignite or play with fireworks. If you’re lighting fireworks, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol.
4. Have a hose or bucket of water nearby so you can quickly address any emergency situations.
5. Before you dispose of used fireworks, soak them in water to be sure they are completely extinguished.
6. Don’t attempt to relight any fireworks that fail to go off. Wait 20 minutes and then soak “dud” fireworks in a bucket of water before disposing of them.
7. When lighting and holding fireworks, use caution and don’t put them in pockets, glass or metal containers, and never point a lit firework at someone.
8. Obey the local laws and ordinances where you live regarding the use of fireworks, and report illegal fireworks, such as M-80s, to your police or fire department.
Additionally, don’t forget about your pets, which could become frightened by the sound of fireworks. During fireworks displays, secure them inside your home in a place where they’ll feel safe from the noise.