It’s almost the Fourth of July! That means parades and great food. It’s also a good opportunity to spend the day with your family and friends outdoors while watching and shooting off fireworks. However, the Fourth of July is also the time when thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 230 people go to the emergency room daily with firework-related injuries in the month around Independence Day. CPSC added that out of all the body parts injured, hands were most frequently harmed. Here are some more firework statistics:
- In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires.
- In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for firework-related injuries.
- In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency departments treated an estimated 10,500 people for firework-related injuries.
- Children younger than 15-years-old comprised 35% of the estimated injuries in 2014.
- Children aged five to nine had the highest estimated rate of emergency department treated fireworks-related injuries.
We all enjoy watching fireworks, but it’s important to know how to properly light them and what to have on hand in case something unexpected happens. In order to have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday, here are some firework safety tips from expert associations:
- Buy fireworks that are legal in your area. Avoid purchasing fireworks wrapped or packaged in brown paper because these were designed for professional displays.
- Light only one firework at a time and then move back quickly after lighting the fuse.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that didn’t fully go off.
- Never throw or point fireworks at another person.
- Never let kids play with or ignite fireworks. In case you allow them, make sure that there’s an adult to guide them.
National Council on Fireworks Safety
- Store fireworks in dry and cool places.
- Keep a bucket or hose of water available in case of fire.
- Never use fireworks when drinking alcohol.
- Never attempt to use homemade fireworks.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting it.
- Attend a public fireworks event managed by experts.
- When using legal fireworks at home, never give them to small children and follow all instructions on packages.
- Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
- Have a supply of water nearby as a precaution.
- Never throw or point fireworks at animals, cars, homes or other flammable materials.
American College of Emergency Physicians
- Read warning labels.
- Never give sparklers to small children.
- Never light fireworks indoors.
- Never wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I love celebrating Independence Day! However, I would like to remind everyone that no matter where or how you plan on spending your day, remember that your safety is top priority. We don’t want a fun filled day to turn into a disaster because someone was injured by a firework. Please keep these fireworks safety tips in mind, and have a great time this Fourth of July!