How to Stay Safe on Independence Day

Fireworks are one of many exciting ways to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. From lighting sparklers at home to watching different firework shows around your hometown there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.

Even though fireworks are a fun and exciting way to celebrate, they can lead to injuries. Of the 11,000 to 13,000 fireworks-related injuries reported each year, two-thirds occur around the July Fourth holiday.

Here are a few firework safety tips and precautions to be aware of:

1. Never allow children to play with or ignite sparklers on their own. A common misconception is that sparklers are safe for kids to play with. Sparklers are over 2,000 degrees and can lead to very severe burns. Make sure children are keeping sparklers at a safe distance, not only from themselves, but from others as well. Running around with sparklers could result in children accidentally hitting each other.

2. Light fireworks one at a time and back up immediately once the firework is lit. Do not keep your head or any body part over the firework while you’re lighting the fuse and make sure to immediately back up once the firework is lit. If, for some reason, the firework does not light on the first try do not try and re-light it or pick it up for any reason.

3. Keep a bucket of water close by in case any sort of accident happens. Having a bucket nearby is a safety precaution just in case someone gets burned or a fire starts. To help prevent this, dump a bucket of water on the firework once it is finished, before you throw it away. This ensures that no unnecessary fires occur. Have kids put sparklers face down in a bucket of water once the sparkler is finished burning.

Being aware of firework safety will ensure a fun and safe holiday. It’s a good idea to check with your local fire department beforehand to make sure fireworks are permitted in your area. Enjoy the holiday and always remember to be cautious!

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Photo credit: Walter Corno

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