Fireworks Safety Tips
Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July. But fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Use fireworks outside only.
- Never try to re-light a “dud” firework.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Keep buckets of water or a garden hose handy.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
More home fires are reported on the 4th of July in the U.S. than any other day of the year and half are caused by fireworks. In 2005, these were estimated reports:
- 1,800 structure fires
- 700 vehicle fires
- $39 million in property damage
In 2006, fireworks injuries caused 9,200 people to seek treatment in U.S. emergency rooms. The breakdown of percentage of fireworks related injuries by body part:
- 2% - Arm
- 6% - Trunk
- 10% - Leg
- 22% - Head
- 24% - Eyes
- 34% - Hands
The risk of fireworks injury was 2 ½ times higher for children ages 10 – 14.
Top 5 fireworks that caused the most injuries:
- Roman candles
- Bottle rockets
Follow these safety tips from the United States Fire Administration:
- Obey the law. Make sure that your fireworks are legal for use in your area.
- Have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby before you light anything (and make sure you know how to use the extinguisher properly).
- Stand back several feet after lighting fireworks. And don’t try to relight duds; instead, douse them with water and dispose of them carefully.
Sources: National Fire Protection Agency, U.S. Fire Administration