We love the fourth of July as much as the next guy, and let’s be honest: much of it is because of the fireworks. We get it! This year especially, because the holiday falls mid-week, we have an extended 4th of July celebration; more opportunities for fun, but also more opportunities for fireworks mishaps as well.
Here’s a sobering statistic: in 2014 alone, there were 11 deaths and about 10,500 hospital trips related to fireworks in the United States, according to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission. Nearly 70 percent of the injuries came during the one-month prime fireworks period between June 20 and July 20.
According to the CPSC, children between the ages of 10 and 14 were at three times the risk of fireworks injuries than the general population. About a third of the injuries were from small firecrackers, 21 percent from bottle rockets and 20 percent from sparklers. Fireworks safety steps when around fireworks are so important.
An important thing to consider: prior to using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your state or local area. In the state of Connecticut, all fireworks, other than sparklers and fountains are considered illegal. Regardless of location, consumers who intend to use fireworks have to comply with federal regulations. Many state and local governments also prohibit or limit consumer fireworks, formerly known as “class C fireworks,” which are common fireworks, and firecrackers sold for consumer use. Consumer fireworks include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers with no more than 50 milligrams of powder, and novelty items, such as snakes, airplanes, ground spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you are with home fireworks fanatics who are not able to be held down, be sure to follow these important fireworks safety steps:
11 Fireworks Safety Steps to Ensure a Safe Fourth of July
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials
- Don’t wear loose fitting clothing when handling fireworks
- Never allow children under the age of 13 to handle fireworks
- Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
- Most pets are afraid of fireworks. They don’t understand that this is a fun time and are very sensitive to the loud bangs. Do them a favor and keep cats and dogs indoors while using fireworks.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
- If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
- If it hasn’t rained for a while, hose down the area around the fireworks prior to lighting them so as not to ignite the brush. And to that end:
- Keep a bucket of water around to extinguish any fireworks that don’t fully go off, or in case of fire
If someone is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor, or come to AFC Urgent Care West Hartford at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, where one of our providers is always available and is equipped to care for burns and injuries from fireworks. We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and from 8am-5PM on the weekends.
Have a happy and SAFE Fourth of July!