While most Independence Days are filled with fireworks, cookouts and parades, this holiday can also be one of the most dangerous.
On average, 280 people visit the emergency room every day around July 4th with fireworks-related injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year. On average, fireworks cause 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in injury each year.
The National Safety Council strongly advises leaving fireworks to the professionals and staying away from all consumer fireworks. However, if you are planning to set off your own fireworks this Fourth of July, below are some essential tips to keep your friends and family safe:
- Make sure setting off your own fireworks is legal in your area before you buy or ignite any fireworks.
- Make sure you have a large open area in which to set off your fireworks that is free of tree branches or power lines. Never light fireworks indoors or near people or animals.
- When purchasing your fireworks, avoid ones that are packaged in brown paper – those are typically made for professional displays and should not be used by amateurs.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks; always ensure anyone under the age of 18 is accompanied by an adult when setting off fireworks.
- When lighting your fireworks, do not place any part of your body directly over the fireworks. Also, back up to a safe distance immediately upon lighting, and never light more than one firework at a time.
- If a firework has not been fully ignited, do not pick it up or try to re-light it.
- Never point or throw a firework at another person or animal.
- Be sure to keep a hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher close by.
- Do not put fireworks in your pockets.
- Never shoot off fireworks from glass or metal containers.
- Once your fireworks have been ignited and set off, pour a bucket of water over the top before moving, handling or throwing the remains away.
- Remember that sparklers are also fireworks and should be handled carefully.
Celebrate responsibility this Fourth of July and follow the above safety tips when setting off any size firework.
An even better idea is to head to your local park with a blanket and some snacks and enjoy your area’s professional fireworks show!
Be Safe Ohio!