One of the constants of summer is the use of fireworks. From spectacular pyrotechnic displays put on by cities across the country during Fourth of July celebrations to pop rockets set off by families during everyday backyard barbecues, fireworks are a mainstay for many Americans.
However, fireworks can be dangerous.
Injuries from fireworks can include burns, injuries to the eyes, contusions and lacerations. Most of the injuries caused by fireworks are treated and released in emergency rooms, though serious injuries and even death do occur.
Many medical experts urge Americans to leave firework displays to the professionals. However, for those who are adamant on hosting their own shows, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers ten common sense safety tips with the hope of greatly reducing injuries during this season.
10 Fireworks Safety Tips
1. Children should not handle or use fireworks.
2. Only use fireworks outdoors.
3. Be sure to have water ready when using fireworks.
4. Always read the caution labels on the fireworks before igniting them.
5. Obey all local laws. Igniting fireworks is illegal in many parts of the country.
6. Do not drink alcohol when using fireworks. Alcohol and fireworks don't mix!
7. Wear safety glasses when using fireworks.
8. Light only one firework at a time, and do not relight a “dud”. If a firework does not go off after it has been lit, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in water.
9. Do not use homemade fireworks or any form of illegal explosives, such as M-80s and quarter sticks. These explosives should be reported to the police or fire departments. Illegal fireworks can be especially dangerous and can kill those who use them.
10. Once the fireworks have been used, they should be soaked in water and then placed in an outdoor, fire-resistant garbage can. This garbage can should be moved away from any buildings and flammable materials.
Not ready to take the chance on setting off a personal cache of fireworks? There are lots of other festive alternatives that people can use during summer celebrations.