How to Stay Safe on Independence Day

Fireworks are one of many exciting ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. From lighting sparklers at home to watching fireworks in the sky, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.

Fireworks are a fun and exciting way to celebrate, but they can also 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:

1. Never allow children to play with or ignite sparklers on their own. A common misconception is that sparklers are safe for children of all ages–they’re not. Sparklers are over 2,000 degrees and can lead to severe burns. Make sure children keep them at a safe distance, not only from themselves, but others as well.

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

3. Keep a bucket of water close by in case of an accident. Having a bucket nearby is a safety precaution in case someone gets burned or a fire starts. To prevent this, dump a bucket of water on the firework once it’s finished, before you throw it away. This ensures that no unnecessary fires occur. Similarly, have kids put sparklers face down in a bucket of water once they’re done.

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 see what fireworks are permitted in your area. Enjoy the holiday and always remember to be cautious!

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Photo credit: Steven_Kriemadis

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