Current Health Topics

July is National Fireworks Safety Month

Using consumer fireworks on our nation's birthday is as traditional as cookouts and parades. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season. It is up to consumers to use fireworks in a safe and responsible manner.

  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready if you are using fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks: Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak in a bucket of water.
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
  • Lastly, soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor, fire resistant garbage can away from buildings and flammable materials.

The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers - Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees, which can cause third degree burns. Consider using glow stick instead. They can be just as much fun but they don't burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

Take Necessary Precautions - Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury - Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges Americans to follow common sense safety rules this Fourth of July in their holiday celebrations.


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