Fireworks help us celebrate our most momentous occasions — from New Year’s Eve to Fourth of July. The sounds of fireworks may be associated with American celebrations but the sound of ambulance sirens is not! When you are using fireworks you must remember that they are very dangerous and are not just toys that look cool when they explode. Fireworks safety is very important especially since an estimated 9,140 people a year on average are injured by fireworks and an average of 6.6 people die every year because of a lack of fireworks safety.
If you do decide to use fireworks this Fourth of July be sure to follow these safety tips to help prevent injuries or fire and have a safe time.
- Be sure to check if fireworks are legal in your area before you purchase them many states such as: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island ban all consumer fireworks. And states such as California have very strict policies on consumer fireworks and in many cases you can be fined or jailed. Certain states also only permit use of sparklers such as: Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maine and Vermont. Also be sure to check the legal dates and times in which you can buy them in your state.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because often this is a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Never throw fireworks at people.
- Never keep fireworks in your pocket.
- Keep all animals inside and away from fireworks. The day after the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve are the busiest times for shelters for lost pets because fireworks scare animals. Be sure to keep them locked inside in a safe area with the TV or music on to help them when the blasts go off.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooden area.
- Having a working garden hose or bucket of water handy.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.
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