My family and I plan to have a blast this Independence Day — literally! Like millions of others all over the country we will be enjoying fireworks. It’s important to keep in mind in mind, however, that fireworks are explosives and need to be handled with extreme caution.
According to the CDC there were an estimated 10,800 people treated for fireworks inflicted injuries in emergency departments throughout the nation in 2005. About 60% of those occurred in the month surrounding Independence Day.
The CDC recommends that fireworks should be handled only by specially trained professionals. However, if you intend to have your own fireworks display, please keep in mind these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Do not allow young children to play with fire-works under any circumstances. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
- Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don’t go off.
- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
- Observe local laws.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.