The Rocket’s Red Glare – National Fireworks Safety Month
Baseball. Apple pie. Fireworks. As Independence Day approaches, we often look to classic symbols to lead our celebrations. Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on backyard fireworks, leading to thousands of injuries in July alone. June is National Fireworks Safety Month – the perfect time to plan for a fun (and injury-free) celebration with your family and friends.
Fireworks Injury Statistics
While most backyard firework displays go off without any problems, injuries are still very prevalent and proper precautions should always be observed. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) organized an in-depth study of the 7,400 injuries reported between June 21, 2013, and July 21, 2013. Some of their findings included the following:
- Men were at a higher risk of injury than women, 57 percent to 43 percent.
- Approximately half of those injured were 25 or younger. Children under the age of 4 accounted for 14 percent of the injuries.
- Sparklers caused 2,300 of the 7,400 injuries reported during the study. While they are considered child-friendly, sparklers can burn at roughly 2,000 degrees.
- Injuries and burns to the hands and fingers accounted for 36% of injuries, followed by the head and face (22%), eyes (16%), and legs (14%).
Fireworks Safety Tips
While a majority of firework injuries don’t require an extended hospital stay, they can still cause serious damage. Here are some ways you can stay safe as you celebrate with patriotic pyrotechnics, from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Ensure each firework is properly set in the ground before lighting
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. If you plan on consuming alcohol, be responsible; save it for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down, then place them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
Looking to Stay Healthy This Summer? Visit Us Today.
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