America’s Independence Day celebrations would not be complete without the colorful fireworks we have all come to expect. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, many localities have cancelled their normally scheduled firework shows to prevent the spread of the virus. This means that many Americans will be taking matters into their own hands.
While DIY fireworks can be tons of fun, safety should be your paramount concern. From bodily injury to the potential of a fire, you should take extra precautions this 4th of July to ensure the safety of your family and your home. Our four firework safety tips will help you do just that!
Why Firework Safety Matters to ERSI
The Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes an annual fireworks report each year. In 2019, there were 7,300 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries. While the injuries range in severity, they are all the result of the explosive power contained in fireworks.
Emergency Response Services, Inc. cares about the safety and well-being of all individuals. Beyond this though, we frequently see firsthand the devastation that occurs from a fire. To ensure that you have a wonderfully safe and fun 4th of July celebration, we have compiled some practical tips about firework safety for your body and your property.
4 Firework Safety Tips for a Safe Fourth of July:
With any explosive comes the potential for danger. From fingers to eyes, and every body part in between, to your house and car, ample opportunities for hazards exist. To maintain the celebratory nature of Independence Day, keep these pointers in mind:
1. Choose the right fireworks
It can be very exciting to stop by a fireworks distributor to purchase what will become your light show. Safety begins the moment you decide what to buy. Take your local laws and ordinances into consideration to avoid legal problems. Be wary of fireworks wrapped in brown paper as these are usually manufactured for professional fireworks shows.
Another consideration is the legality of the fireworks you plan to set off. Anything you buy should have a label with a manufacturer’s name and proper-use instructions. Illegal fireworks are generally unlabeled, or may be referred to as M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. While banned, these fireworks are still prevalent and can cause serious injuries and damages.
Once you have chosen your fireworks, store them in a cool, dry place, far out of reach of young children and pets. Never attempt to make your own fireworks!
2. Take care while handling fireworks
Never allow children to handle fireworks of any kind. For adults, wear protective eyewear and suitable clothing. Despite the fun of the day, avoid using fireworks if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Recognize that hazards extend beyond just projectile fireworks. Did you know that sparklers burn at nearly 1,800 degrees?! As a favorite of children, the use of sparklers should always be closely supervised by a competent adult to avoid burns and fire.
3. Light fireworks properly
You should never attempt to light fireworks in your hands, inside of a dwelling, or inside of a container. It is estimated by the National Fire Protection Association that fireworks started 19,500 fires in 2018, 1900 of which were structure fires. It is in your best interest to keep a good distance from other individuals, houses, brush, and flammable materials. It is unwise to throw or point fireworks at others or at structures.
Set off one device at a time and stay back as the firework lights, ensuring that no part of your body is directly over the device. Never attempt to re-light duds and avoid picking up spent debris to prevent burns. Having a large bucket of water close is a smart decision in the event of a fire.
4. Follow proper disposal methods
After a successful night of lighting off fireworks, there are a few measures to take to ensure proper disposal. Spent fireworks should be soaked in water for several hours before disposal to avoid a fire. Once completely saturated, double wrap the wet fireworks in plastic to prevent them from drying out. You can then place the wrapped fireworks in the trash or take them to a local waste facility. You may also consider contacting your local fire department for other disposal options.
Have Fun and Stay Safe This 4th of July
There is no doubt that fireworks are a fun tradition in America for Fourth of July. Do not be fooled though — these projectiles have the potential to cause serious injury, damages, and even death when not handled properly. Emergency Response Services, Inc. wants all of our clients to be safe. Following these practical tips helps maintain the safety of you, your family, and your property. Happy 4th of July!